Enable lazy loading in the new Edge to speed up your browsing

The new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser shares many features with other Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Vivaldi and Opera.

Google started to integrate native lazy loading support in Google Chrome recently (in Chrome 76 to be precise), and it appears that Microsoft added these capabilities to Microsoft Edge as well.

Lazy loading ignores certain elements on a webpage that are not visible or important to improve performance, reduce memory usage, and speed up the loading of sites.

The Chromium implementation -- Mozilla plans to integrate lazy loading in Firefox as well -- focuses on images and iframes.  The new "loading" attribute may be used to set images or iframes to lazy load on webpages. WordPress plans to introduce native support for lazy loading in future versions.

All versions of the new Microsoft Edge web browser support lazy loading already; the feature is not enabled by default right now but can be enabled directly in the browser.

Here is how that is done:

  1. Load edge://flags/ in the web browser's address bar; this opens the browser's experimental features page. You find lots of features on the page that are not yet ready to be enabled for all users.
  2. Use the search field at the top and run a search for lazy. Microsoft Edge returns two results:
    1. Enable lazy image loading -- "Defers the loading of images marked with the attribute 'loading=lazy' until the page is scrolled down near them".
    2. Enable lazy frame loading -- "Defers the loading of iframes marked with the attribute 'loading=lazy' until the page is scrolled down near them".
  3. Set both of these to Enabled.
  4. Tip: you may access the experiments directly as well using the following URLs:
    1. Lazy Image Loading: edge://flags/#enable-lazy-image-loading
    2. Lazy Frame Loading: edge://flags/#enable-lazy-frame-loading
  5. Restart Microsoft Edge to complete the process.

You can use this demo page to find out if lazy loading works properly in the browser. You should see "true" returned on the page if you have enabled image lazy loading.

Please note that it is possible that some sites may not work properly anymore after enabling lazy loading. It is easy enough to disable the feature again by setting the flags to "disabled".

Image credit: vijay0401/ Shutterstock

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