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This Microsoft Edge update solves a major headache, but not for everyone

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Suffering a juddering scrolling experience with Microsoft Edge could soon be over thanks to a new update for the software set to launch soon.

Microsoft's browser is examining a new option to improve scrolling that will see users get a much smoother experience - but not everyone will be able to enjoy it just yet.

Available in the Edge Canary channel now, the update sees Edge using variable "screen refresh rate" when scrolling. The feature "allows Windows to temporarily boost the refresh rate up when scrolling...this provides an overall smoother scrolling experience," the update notes.

Microsoft Edge VRR

However the change isn't set to be available to all users, as Microsoft notes that you'll need a VRR panel and a supporting driver to make sure it works as it should.

A VRR panel helps your device operate variable refresh rate (or VRR), giving you a smooth graphics experience. It's more common in gaming TVs and monitors, especially as next-gen consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X become more widespread.

The main job of VRR is to eliminate what's known as screen tearing, where the image on your TV shudders mid-frame before carrying on as before. 

Screen tearing happens when your display's refresh of its image is out-of-sync with the rate at which  your console or PC graphics card delivers frames. You end up with an on-screen image that sees, for example, the top half of the screen display one frame and the bottom the next. 

This happens because TVs don’t refresh their entire screen image instantly. The driver of a display rapidly scans down the screen, usually from top to bottom, updating the state of each pixel. It often happens too fast for our eyes and brains to notice, until something goes wrong and it looks odd. 

Tearing becomes noticeable when, for example, you use a 60Hz TV and the game’s framerate vacillates between 45fps and 60fps. It’s particularly obvious in fast-motion games like first-person shooters, where turning around quickly in-game leads to a huge difference in on-screen information from one frame to the next.

This may all seem a bit detached from using Microsoft Edge as a day-to-day browser, but with more users looking to view HD video and even virtual reality experiences through their browser, it's clear Microsoft feels it needs to keep up.

You can check your devices' Refresh rate panel on your Windows devices via the Start menu, then clicking on Settings > System > Display > Advanced display.

Via WinCentral

Mike Moore

Mike Moore is News & Features Editor across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.