Navigate Microsoft Edge with your keyboard

Here's how to turn on text cursor navigation, or "caret browsing" in Microsoft's new Edge browser.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal Freelance Writer
Sarah is a freelance writer and CNET How To blogger. Her main focus is Windows, but she also covers everything from mobile tech to video games to DIY hardware projects. She likes to press buttons and see what happens, so don't let her near any control panels.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
2 min read

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Sometimes you need to copy and paste a chunk of text from a webpage, and your mouse is just not precise enough to grab the exact lines you want (especially if you happen to be using a touchpad). Luckily, there's a built-in solution in Microsoft Edge: Caret browsing.

Caret browsing, which also exists in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox but not Google Chrome, is a feature that lets you navigate webpages with your keyboard, similar to how you navigate through a Word document. You can scroll through text letter by letter or line by line with a text cursor, even if the text you're scrolling through can't be edited. Here's how to turn it on:

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If you just want to turn on caret browsing for the current tab, hit F7. A window will pop up, asking you if you want to turn on caret browsing -- click Yes to turn it on. To turn it off, just hit F7 again.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you want to turn on caret browsing permanently, click the ... button in the upper right corner of the screen, and then click Settings to open up the Settings sidebar.

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Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings sidebar to Advanced settings and click View advanced settings. In the Advanced settings menu, you'll see a toggle that says Always use caret browsing. Turn this toggle On to turn caret browsing on permanently. You'll need to restart your browser before you see any changes.

Once you've turned caret browsing on, just click anywhere on a webpage to place a blinking text cursor (if you click on a part of the page that has no text, the cursor will appear next to the closest fragment of text). You can now select text by holding down the Shift key and using the arrow keys to grab letters (Forward/Back) and lines (Up/Down).