Microsoft claims Edge Browser 'Most Battery Efficient'

John Lister's picture

Microsoft claims its Edge browser uses far less battery power on laptops than rivals such as Google Chrome. The claims come as it publishes details of further tweaks to the browser's power demands.

To back up its claims, Microsoft has released the results of tests it carried out using its own Surface Book computer, along with data gathered remotely from Windows 10 computers. As with any such non-independent tests, it's always worth remembering that not only could the setup of the tests be designed in a way that favors Microsoft, but there's no way of knowing that Microsoft hasn't done previous tests that gave less favorable results and chosen not to publish them.

Edge Could Last A Third Longer

The first set of tests involved using a browser to cycle through popularly used websites such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and YouTube and measure the average power use. According to Microsoft, the baseline for its machine - meaning the power it used while not running any browser - was 318 milliwatts, or mW.

Running Microsoft Edge in the tests used 2,068 mW. That compares to 2,819 mW for Chrome, 3,077 mW for Opera and 3,161 mW for Firefox. Microsoft notes that its calculations suggest a 36 percent longer battery life for Edge over Chrome and 53 percent longer for Edge over Firefox, though this only applies to web browsing.

Real Customer Use Less Clear

A second set of figures from Microsoft shows a different picture. These are based on the actual figures measured on Windows 10 computers that "phone home" with usage data to help Microsoft improve its services.

These figures represent average power use overall, not just while web browsing. They showed computer running Microsoft Edge at 465.24 milliwatts, Chrome at 719.72 mW and Firefox at 493.5 mW, with no figures published for Firefox. (Source:

These may be misleading comparisons however as the pattern of usage across people running different browsers may vary. People who have actively switched browsers might be more intensive users who run more demanding tasks than simple web browsing.

Whatever the true picture, Microsoft is working to improve Edge's battery use. The browser will soon try to work out which Flash content is "non-essential" and not play this until the user actively clicks to do so. Microsoft is also planning to co-ordinate and reduce the way in which background browser tabs (the ones you aren't currently viewing) connect to the Internet to get updates. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Have you tried Edge on a Windows 10 machine? If so, did you notice an improvement in battery life? If not, do Microsoft's claims make you more likely to try it out?

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Dennis Faas's picture

This data isn't as significant as it might have been about 10 years ago when everyone still had laptops that ran Windows. Flash forward to today and the scenario is much different, especially with those of us who are using smartphones and tablets that are running a non-Microsoft platform. I've sold off all my laptops (circa 2007 era) and the only mobile devices I have are an Android smartphone and an Android tablet.

Even if I did have a mobile Microsoft platform (laptop, tablet, phone), the only time I would even consider using Edge might be for my phone because it is more of a consumption device than for productivity. In this case, I definitely agree that 'less is more,' which would likely translate to better battery usage.

As for every day use, I am an avid Firefox user because I have it set up strictly for productivity with specific addons, etc for my work. In this case I don't really care about battery usage because it's not eating any batteries. So in that respect, I believe this study is only touching on a very small population of users.

kitekrazy's picture

Tired of these. Not a fan of Chrome since the dumbed it down. Firefox is still the best.

sirpaultoo's picture

That report is comparing apples to oranges. I agree Chrome is the worst for battery life but, Edge is built into the OS, and is about as as 'spartan' as you can get.
Where's IE? Opera? Vivaldi? Am I to presume those browser results make MS look bad?
Perhaps MS marketing should also mention that Edge is 'by far' the least power hungry browser on any OS other than Win10.

dan400man's picture

Edge can't even do half of what a real browser like Firefox can.

Edge: Riding your skateboard to work.
Firefox: Driving your Porsche to work.