How to make Chrome the default browser on Windows 11

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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  • To make Chrome the default browser on Windows 11, you need to adjust your file association settings.
  • This process is a bit different than in Windows 10, and it takes a few extra steps.
  • If you need to set the default browser in Windows 11, be prepared to do that for all associated file types and web protocols.
chrome default browser windows 11
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Even though Microsoft Edge is a decent browser, users still prefer exploring the web with different software, as the number of features and utilizability are increased.

The latest version of Windows supports the majority of browsers, and if you’re looking for a new one, be sure to check our list of best Windows 11 browsers.

However, changing the default apps for different tasks isn’t always as straightforward as you might expect in the latest version. Changing the default web browser is not different at all.

Nevertheless, it’s still possible to change your browser, and in today’s guide, we’re going to show you how to make Chrome the default web explorer software on Windows 11.

Is Google Chrome better than Edge?

For a long time, Google Chrome was far superior to Edge, but after a massive revamp, the browser can now hold its ground against Chrome.

The new version runs on Chromium engine, which makes it quite similar to Chrome. With a new engine, the browser can run Chrome extensions as well, but there might be few compatibility issues in some cases.

In terms of resources, Edge has a significantly lighter impact, so it’s a better choice if you’re using a PC with a low amount of RAM.

In terms of security, both browsers are pretty safe, but some would say that Chrome takes the lead in this department, with better protocols engaged at all times.

The last difference that we need to mention is cross-platform availability, as this is an extremely important element for most users.

Chrome and Edge are available on all platforms, but many Android phones come with Chrome preinstalled, which makes it much simpler and easier to sync and share your data between devices.

Is Chrome a better browser? The answer is not that simple. Even if it’s more popular, and offers better integration with Google’s services, Edge is surely catching up. It comes down to persona preference, but our research suggests that Chrome is a better choice for most users.

How popular is Google Chrome?

Google Chrome has been the most popular browser across all platforms for years. Currently, the browser has a 68.5% market share, which is a 1% drop from the last year.

It’s followed by Safari at 9.5% market share and Microsoft Edge at 8.22%. It’s worth mentioning that Edge almost doubled its market share from the last year.

Browser market share (Source: Statcounter)

As you can see, Chrome is without a doubt the most popular web browser, and it’s no wonder that many users want to make it a default browser on their PC.

How can I make Chrome default browser on Windows 11?

Change your file associations

  1. Click the Start button in the Taskbar.
  2. Now select Settings.
  3. In the left pane, select Apps. From the right pane, choose Default apps.
  4. Now select Google Chrome from the list.
  5. Click the first file type on the list. In our case, it’s .htm.
  6. Select Google Chrome from the list and click OK.
  7. Select the next file type and repeat the steps from above. Do this for all file types that Microsoft Edge is assigned to.

Although you can change file associations for all extensions, these are the essential extensions that you must change:

  • HTM
  • HTML
  • PDF
  • SHTML
  • WEBP
  • XHT
  • XHTML
  • FTP
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS

After replacing Edge with Chrome for all file types, Chrome will become the default browser on Windows 11.

Note icon
NOTE
You can also use the Make default option in Chrome to change your browser, but that will just open the Default apps section in the Settings app.

Why is it so complicated to change the default browser on Windows 11?

Microsoft changed how changing the default apps works in Windows 11, and now you don’t have the access to different categories, such as web browser, email client, photo viewer, etc.

Instead, you’ll get a list of applications, and when you select the application, it will give you the list of file types that can be associated with that application.

Now you have to manually set the default application for each file type. This gives users more control, but the vast majority of users don’t need such a detailed configuration for default apps.

With Windows 11 the process of changing the default app can take few minutes, while in previous versions it only took few seconds.

We still don’t know why Microsoft decided to change this, but we hope that this process will be simplified soon. Luckily, we have a guide on how to change the default browser on Windows 11, so be sure to check it out.

What is the best browser to use on Windows 11?

As previously mentioned, all major browsers work perfectly in the latest version of Windows and picking the best one comes down to personal preference.

Each browser has its advantages, but if we had to pick one, we’d probably go with Opera since it’s built on Chromium engine while offering some unique features.

As you can see from the graph above, not only does Opera have amazing features, but also has the least impact on resources when compared to other options.

Besides the amazing browsing speeds and stability, Opera also offers free VPN, and many other useful elements, while also offering you access to a specialized gaming browser, Opera GX.

Changing the default browser to Chrome on Windows 11 isn’t as simple as it used to be, and the process now takes few minutes at most.

We still aren’t sure why Microsoft changed how settings for default applications work, but you should know that this change affects all applications and not just web browsers.

Do you know any other method that can be used to change the default apps? Let us know in the comments below.

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