Why is it important: Variable refresh rate (VRR) is primarily known for keeping the display smooth in video games by matching the screen refresh rate to the game’s frames per second, but other use cases have emerged. Microsoft is now experimenting with it in their web browser.
A few days ago, Reddit user Leopeva64-2 discovered an experimental Microsoft Edge Canary feature that makes scrolling smoother by increasing the refresh rate on scroll only. This essentially brings VRR functionality to the browser. Of course, this requires a VRR capable display, AMD FreeSync, or Nvidia G-Sync.
Edge Canary is an insider version of Microsoft’s browser, allows users can see the latest features the developers are working on before they are stable enough for development, beta, or general releases. Canary users can see the scrolling acceleration feature by entering edge: // flags in the address bar and looking for “Increase refresh rate on scrolling” in the list of available experimental features.
This feature is only activated when scrolling to conserve battery power. Many of the latest smartphones, tablets, and laptops are already doing this at the device level, including laptops running Windows 11.
Edge Canary is reviewed almost daily, with the developer build updated weekly and the beta about once a month. If Microsoft decides to keep the higher refresh rate feature, it may appear in beta on January 11 or February 3. Potential stable releases will follow on February 3 and March 3, respectively.