Microsoft is testing a new function in the Canary and Developer versions of its Edge web browser, that is designed to import data from Google Chrome on every launch of the browser.
Most web browsers include import functionality to migrate user data from other browsers to a newly installed or run web browser.
Data such as passwords, bookmarks, cookies or open tabs may be imported to continue right in the new browser without losing any old data in the process.
Imports can be run at any time in most browsers as well; the function is found in the preferences, usually.
The feature that Microsoft is testing in Edge introduces permanent imports of select data.
All it takes is to select Menu > Settings, and there the “import browser data option” under Your Profile.
A click on “import browser data on each launch” displays the configuration menu.
Currently, imports are only supported from Google Chrome. A click on “turn on” enables the functionality.
Once turned on, you may select the items that you want imported on each start of the Edge browser, and the Edge profile that you want the data to be assigned to.
Imports are enabled for all the different data types by default; but it is possible to disable some data types during setup.
The current Edge Canary implementation lacks support for the importing of bookmarks and extensions; but Microsoft promises that the functionality will be introduced in a later update.
For now, Edge users may import saved passwords, autofill settings, payment information, the browsing history, and cookies.
Some users may import open tabs as well, but the functionality is not available in all Edge Canary instances yet.
The Developer edition of Edge supports permanent imports, but it lacks data type customization options at the time of writing.
Permanent imports may assist Edge users who use Chrome as the main web browser on their systems, and Edge sporadically.
Some Windows 10 and 11 features open Edge by default, and users may be inclined to use Edge more; if the data that is available is in sync with the Chrome browser data.
The feature is not turned on by default in Edge Canary, and it is unclear if Microsoft plans to promote it in some way to Edge users; or introduce policies that allow administrators to enable permanent data imports by default.
Chrome is the most popular desktop web browser, and it makes sense to pick it for the imports.
It seems unlikely that Microsoft is going to introduce support for permanent imports from other browsers.
Data imports on each startup may impact the loading time of the browser.
It is too early to tell if the delay will be noticeable once the feature lands in Stable.