Windows 11 will make it difficult for users to switch default browsers as Microsoft has reportedly tweaked the way you can change defaults in the operating system. This will make it harder for users to change their default browser to competitor products like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, from Microsoft Edge. Once you install a new browser on Windows 11 and open a Web link for the first time, you will see a prompt. This will let you decide whether you want to select the browser as the default on your system by ticking the option that reads, “Always use this app.” It is similar to how you see prompts for setting default apps on Windows 10.
However, The Verge reports that the prompt for selecting the browser as the default app will be the only opportunity to easily select a new default browser. This means that if you do not immediately change the defaults, then you will have to take a more complex approach in order to change the settings in the future.
In Windows 10, you can switch between different default apps anytime by visiting Settings > Apps > Default apps. It’s something that you will get on Windows 11 but with a cumbersome process as Microsoft has enabled users on its new operating system to assign a new default app on the basis of file type, as initially reported on Thurrott.com.
So, if you want to change your default browser on Windows 11 with a new one, you will have to select that new browser from the ‘Default apps’ list and then choose it for each file or link type one by one. The process is even tedious particularly in case of browsers as Microsoft will give you an additional prompt to try Edge when you are going to select a new browser such as Chrome or Firefox as the default option.
Competitors like Brave, Google, Mozilla, Opera, and Vivaldi voiced concerns about this move to The Verge. However, Microsoft is justifying the change by saying that it will allow Windows 11 users to have more control over default apps.
“With Windows 11, we are implementing customer feedback to customise and control defaults at a more granular level, eliminating app categories and elevating all apps to the forefront of the defaults experience,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement quoted by The Verge.
“As evidenced by this change, we’re constantly listening and learning, and welcome customer feedback that helps shape Windows. Windows 11 will continue to evolve over time; if we learn from user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will do so.”
Windows 11 is currently under testing and is provided in preview to developers and enthusiasts. Nevertheless, Microsoft is expected to make the new operating system available for public release in October.