microsoft: Microsoft reverses change in Windows 11 that made it hard to switch browsers – Times of India
Microsoft is reversing a change in the newly released Windows 11 which made it very hard to change your default browser via the system settings. Microsoft released the Windows 11 build 22509 a few days ago that added a button on the top that helps you in changing your default browser more easily, reports Engadget.
Let’s take Google Chrome as an example, as you enter the file associations page in a browser like Chrome. You will find a button at the top that will help you in making it the default browser. Again, whenever a browser asks you if you want to set it as the default, it will take you to the same page, which is now very much easier to change the default browser with a couple of clicks. Microsoft confirmed that this new change is voluntary but, it didn’t confirm whether we’ll need to wait for a full feature update or if it will be dispatched through a bunch of updates to the current version of Windows 11.
This change was crucial as it was a move by Microsoft that was deemed to be the most controversial as it tried to force users to use its home-grown Edge browser. In Windows, when you try to access a link outside a browser and you have more than one browser installed, you’re asked to choose a browser amongst them. Edge will become the default browser unless you specifically select another browser and tick the checkbox to make the other browser your default.
The Windows 11 Settings page also no longer allows you to select a default browser app in general; whereas, you have to alter the associations for the HTTP protocol, HTML files and so on, which makes it much harder to select a different default browser. This change prompted Mozilla to create a hack that allowed Firefox to bypass all of this and make it the default browser.
Microsoft has taken more steps to go against user choices to make it worse. The company has also blocked the Edge Deflector, which is an app that redirects native Windows 11 links from Edge to the user’s default browser. Some users also discovered that the company is also putting up discouraging prompts in the Edge browser whenever they try to download Google Chrome. We might see more consumer-friendly changes in the future from the company that will make it easier for users to select their own browser.
Windows 11 build 22509 also included a few more tweaks other than this change. These changes include giving users more new customisation options for the Start menu, that allows them to either see more pinned items or more items from the drop-down Recommended list. It has also brought in more settings from the Control Panel into the Windows 11 Settings app. It is a part of Microsoft’s process to unite all its settings under one interface, which the company has been trying to do for a few years now.