While browsing your newly updated Windows 11, you may have noticed that some of the system links launch in Microsoft Edge even if you've set Chrome or Firefox to be your default browser. If you are confused about what is happening, you are not the only one.
You will find that this happens more often when you launch a link in one of the Windows 11 apps. For example, when you click an article in the News and Interests widget, it always starts the Microsoft browser, not the browser you have set as the default for websites.
But why is this happening? Let's dive in and take a closer look.
Defeat Edge's greatest rival, EdgeDeflector
For a long time, Google Chrome was considered the main antagonist of Edge. In the past few months, however, EdgeDeflector has become Edge's number one competitor.
EdgeDeflector is a third-party interface that forces Windows to use the user's default browser when opening links. As such, it has become a huge hit with Windows 11 users who are tired of opening links in Microsoft Edge.
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EdgeDeflector works by identifying the microsoft-edge: // url in the original Windows 11 link. The URL is then converted into an https: // link, which means that the website can be opened in the system's standard browser.
However, Microsoft has since blocked EdgeDeflector. This update prevents the deflector from redirecting web applications and changing the Microsoft Edge protocol.
The block first appeared in an early Windows 11 preview build, where it was initially viewed as a bug that should eventually be fixed. But this was not the case. Microsoft has since confirmed that it will prevent app developers from tampering with the Microsoft Edge protocol links in an update. Hence, all of the links from Windows 11 use microsoft-edge: // and open in Edge.
This news was also confirmed by EdgeDeflector developer Daniel Aleksandersen on his CTRL blog. He pointed out that the latest EdgeDeflector disabling feature will not prevent users from launching web pages in Microsoft Edge.
He shed light on alternative third-party apps that can be used, but it is likely that they will end up harming the systems and doing more harm than good.
Microsoft's attempt to establish Edges Dominion through other browsers
In the current Windows 11 update, users are no longer notified with the error message "An app standard has been reset". The system completely ignores the application browsing registry selected by the user and instead uses the Microsoft Edge protocol registry.
As such, Microsoft is now requesting that users use Microsoft Edge even if a said user tries to remove the browser from their computer. When a user tries to force Windows to use their preferred internet browser, the system now displays an invalid UWP window with an error message
The future of the EdgeDeflector
Regardless of Microsoft disabling its operations, users can still install EdgeDeflector … just not the latest version. The latter will only be possible if Microsoft rolls back its patch and re-enables the ability to change Windows 11's internal link URLs.
Even so, there are other ways to prevent Microsoft Edge from launching forcibly, but as mentioned above, doing so is likely to have a negative impact on your system.
A case for Microsoft Edge
Despite all of the developers' expectations of users, the popularity of Microsoft Edge did not meet their expectations. In order not to be overshadowed by Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and other rivals, Microsoft finally decided to take matters into their own hands.
What the company doesn't realize is that Windows 11's strict rules are inconspicuous and unjustified to its users. If nothing is done to fix the situation, Microsoft may end up driving away the traffic it tried to attract to its browser.
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About the author
(12 published articles)
Maham is a Psychology graduate and is expanding and nurturing her interest in technology with MUO. Outside of work, she enjoys reading books, painting, and traveling whenever possible.
From Maham Asad
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