Switching the default browser on Windows 11

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • Microsoft altered the way we set our default browser on Windows 11.
  • Backlash isn't making the tech giant back down and nothing will change.
  • Competitors consider that Microsoft is limiting user freedom on the new OS.
  • Out of Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, only Firefox has an auto-prompt.
browser Windows 11
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Microsoft’s upcoming operating system is about to make it even harder to switch default browsers and ignore browser defaults in new areas of the operating system.

But while the Redmond tech giant is making many positive changes to the Windows 11 UI, the default apps experience is a step back and browser competitors such as Mozilla, Opera, and Vivaldi are concerned.

If you’re not sure which browser would be the best fit for your needs and newly-installed OS, then we can help by recommending some great options.

Microsoft makes is harder to change between browsers

In Windows 11, Microsoft has changed the way you set default apps, and we covered this browser category a few weeks ago.

We all know that on Windows 10, there’s a prompt that appears when you install a new browser and open a web link for the first time, asking you if you want to make it your default one.

Unless you tick always use this app, the default won’t be changed.

And it is extremely easy to forget to toggle the always use this app option, and simply launch the browser you want from this prompt and never see this default choice again when you click web links.

If by chance you forget to set your default browser at first launch, the experience for switching defaults is now very confusing compared to the previous OS.

Chrome and many browsers will often prompt users to set them as default and will guide them into the default apps part of settings to enable this.

Changing the default browser on Windows 11 is tricky for some

Many see this as an unnecessarily long process compared to Windows 10, which allows you to quickly and easily switch default email, maps, music, photos, videos, and web browser apps.

Out of Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, only Firefox was able to set defaults without sending users to the default apps section of Windows 11.

Either way, the other companies that design vital apps, are not impressed about what the Redmond giant plans to do with the upcoming OS.

You can check out how to generally change the default browser, or, if you’re more inclined to use Chrome, then reading through this guide will surely answer some important questions.

Competitors are disapointed with how Microsoft limits user choices

Ever since Windows 10, users always had to take additional and unnecessary steps to set and retain their default browser settings.

These barriers are confusing at best and seem designed to undermine a user’s choice for a non-Microsoft browser.

Most of the companies that are behind all the other popular browsers are not agreeing with Microsoft’s strategy at all, and none have kind words for the tech giant.

And default app choices aren’t the only issues affecting browsers in Windows 11, either. The Redmond company has been ignoring default browser choices in its search experience in Windows 10.

So what did Microsoft do? They introduced a taskbar widget that also ignored a default browser and forced users into Edge.

People want to be free and their choices not to be influenced, but Windows 11 continues this trend, with search still pushing users into Edge’s arms, and now a new dedicated widgets area that also ignores the default browser setting.

Microsoft denies pushing users in a certain direction

Redmond officials justify these changes as allowing Windows users to have more control over default apps.

With Windows 11, we are implementing customer feedback to customize and control defaults at a more granular level, eliminating app categories and elevating all apps to the forefront of the defaults experience. 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.

It’s not long until Windows 11 will be ready, and competitors are very clear these changes aren’t welcome. Officials from Slack already brought some of these choices to the attention of regulators.

So we’ve established that everyone has it in for Microsoft, while the tech giant doesn’t seem to be bothered by the negative attention.

Meanwhile, work continues as planned, and Windows 11 is almost ready. We will know for sure, by the end of the year, what the future has in store for us.

What do you think about Windows 11 so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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