Windows 11 is just around the corner, and the new iteration is expected to make it difficult for users to switch their default browsers.
With the release of Google Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft quickly lost market share in the browser market. Internet Explorer that came with Windows was mainly used to download another browser.
However, with Microsoft Edge, the company is trying to regain some of its lost share. Unfortunately, the market is tougher than ever as old names consolidate their positions and new ones gain popularity.
The company hopes to get more people to use Edge by making it harder to choose standard apps.
How to change your default browser in Windows 10
The current process for changing default apps in Windows 10 is pretty straightforward. When you install a new browser and click a web link in an app, you are prompted to choose a default app.
If you want to change the default app, all you have to do is check the box that says "Always use this app" and Windows will open any links or related files using whatever browser you choose.
This is done with convenience in mind. Most people often forget to click the check box. If you don't, Windows will continue to use your default selection.
Many browsers like Chrome, Brave, and Safari often ask users to change the default browser. For example, Chrome has a very handy setting that automatically takes you to the Default Apps section on Windows to change your browser's default settings.
If you ever want to change default apps, click Search next to the Start icon, and then type in "Default Apps". Select the result and you can easily change the default settings for different files.
Upcoming changes in Windows 11 and the new process
With Windows 11, the company is making some changes. Instead of allowing users a single switch, you have to choose default browsers for different types of files. Currently this means that the default settings will be changed for:
As always, Microsoft Edge will be the default browser when you first install Windows 11. This browser is based on the Chromium project and is incredibly fast.
It's actually good now, but Microsoft is still catching up. Most people now prefer privacy-conscious browsers like Mozilla or Brave. Despite all of the new features in Windows 11, most people probably aren't looking forward to Edge that much.
Change default apps for individual file and link types in Windows 11
Instead of setting a default for all relevant files and link types, in Windows 11 you have to do this one at a time. Here's how you can change your default browser in Windows 11.
Step 1: Go to Standard Apps
Go to Start> Settings. Then choose Apps. You can also go directly to the start menu and write "Default apps" to find the appropriate result.
Step 2: Choose your web browser
As soon as you open Standard apps, You will see a list of all apps. Windows 11 gives you the option to set default settings for a specific link or file type. Or you can set default values for each application.
In this case, you need to find the web browser that you want to set as the default for all web-based links.
Step 3: set as default
Now you need to set your browser as the default for each specified file and link type individually. It's tedious but necessary if you want all of the links or files to open as normal.
There is a lot more. You will also need to select your default web browser for each of the links and file types given individually.
When you're done, you can exit the settings.
Note: If you keep clicking each of these links, you'll get a Windows 11 prompt asking you to give Edge a try. Just click "Switch Anyway" and finish setting up the defaults for each link or file type.
Windows 11 will continue to use Edge by default when you click web links from Windows Search or one of its browser widgets.
The process is unnecessarily long and tedious. If you use the "Set as default browser" setting in Google Chrome or other browsers like Brave, they all open the default apps setting.
You can download the Windows 11 beta to try this out. Keep in mind that this process may change in the future. Windows 11 will officially be released on October 5, 2021.
What do competitors say?
It's not a surprise, but a lot of competitors are not satisfied. For its part, Windows claims that this step will give users more precise control over their settings. Big names like Mozilla, Opera and Vivaldi, however, have all spoken out.
Firefox's senior VPN, Selena Deckelmann, spoke to The Verge about the latest changes. She said that Microsoft has made it increasingly difficult to keep the browser default settings, and such steps are only meant to narrow down the choices.
Opera, one of the most popular Chrome alternatives, also voiced its criticism of its Head of Browsers, Krystian Kolondra, urging Microsoft to respect user choice and encourage competition rather than stifle it.
A worrying trend for Windows 11
Windows 11 is set to be the next big thing for Microsoft. The company has largely redeemed itself over the past ten years. It is the most widely used operating system in the world, but such moves degrade the platform's credibility.
Many believe that “forcing” Edge on Windows users will ultimately drive more and more people away from the platform itself. macOS has come a long way, and many believe that Windows 11 actually inspired some of Apple's operating system.
A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that the company is actively listening to feedback and looking into issues. But with the release date almost here, it is likely that if a change is implemented it will be added later as an update.
On the other hand, Microsoft Edge has nothing to do with its predecessor Internet Explorer. It's ridiculously fast, intuitive, and you can even earn cashback when shopping through Edge. The latest update, Edge 93, also includes several handy updates.
What's new in Microsoft Edge 93?
Microsoft Edge 93 was released with some handy updates. Here's what you can try in the latest version of the Microsoft browser.
About the author
(3 articles published)
Najam Ahmed is an experienced content marketer and copywriter with a focus on SaaS offers, startups, digital agencies and e-commerce companies. He has worked closely with founders and digital marketers for the past eight years to produce articles, eBooks, newsletters, and guides. His interests include gaming, traveling, and reading.
By Najam Ahmed
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