Watch out, Microsoft is blocking other browsers from opening Edge links

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
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edge block

We know it seems like such a long time ago, but back when Microsoft launched Windows 10, it also introduced the world to the classic version of Edge.

This browser would replace Internet Explorer and pave the way for a new and bright future for the company.

So, in order to give Edge a bit of a boost, the tech giant created microsoft-edge:// protocol and started to use it in some of its internal applications.

Needles to say, the above-mentioned protocol was designed to open links only in Edge, no other browsers..

Edge would then display the content and, at the same time, prompt the user to make it the default.

New protocol changes are coming to Edge

With the new OS, Microsoft introduced the Chromium-based Edge web browser which, just like its classic version, it too is pushed through the exclusive use of the microsoft-edge:// protocol.

The new News and Interests widget in Windows 10 and the Widgets app in Windows 11 use the microsoft-edge protocol exclusively, even though they display standard web content and links.

And, just to make things even less user-friendly, the Redmond tech company also changed the way the default browser is set.

For example, if we’re talking about Windows 10, we could set a different browser as the default, and it would open all links that browsers can open, with the exception of locked microsoft-edge protocol links.

For Windows 11, Microsoft removed that straightforward option, and all that is left for us to do is to set each protocol individually.

If you want to switch completely from Edge to Firefox, Brave, or Vivaldi, you have to set HTTP, HTTPS, HTML, PDF, WebP, SHTML, FTP, HTM, Mailto, News, and others, manually to the desired browser.

Software like Edge Deflector or Search Deflector were created to unlock the microsoft-edge:// protocol for other browsers.

By using it, Windows 10 and 11 users can set a different browser as the handler and it will be opened.

Behind the scene, Edge Deflector sets itself as the default handler for Microsoft Edge’s protocol, and it redirects the request then to the browser of choice.

All of these changes have a simple goal, and that is to increase the usage share of Microsoft’s Edge web browser, as there doesn’t seem to be any technical reason for using the internal protocol.

Other companies that develop browsers, such as Brave or Firefox started to implement similar functionality to improve the process of making them the default handler on Windows 10 and 11.

Lately, users started noticing that Microsoft made changes to the latest Windows 11 build that prevents EdgeDeflector, or any other program, to set itself as the default handler for the microsoft-edge:// protocol.

Clearly, something must have changed between Windows 11 builds 22483 and 22494. The build changelog makes a few mentions of changes to the protocol and file associations/default apps system.

However, it omitted the headline news: You can no longer bypass Microsoft Edge using apps like EdgeDeflector.

Happy with the latest changes made to your favorie browswer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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