September 20, 2021

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Microsoft is making switching browsers in Windows 11 more complex

Microsoft is making switching browsers in Windows 11 more complex

With the upcoming Windows 11, Microsoft is introducing a number of changes, for better or worse. Such a not well accepted change can be found in the settings of the default browser setting. The change makes it difficult for users to change the default browser to something other than the pre-installed Microsoft Edge.

Thus, the user risks opening some of the links you click on, for example in applications such as Word, Outlook or Slack, as well as locally stored web pages – such as HTML documents with file name extensions such as htm. and html. – In Edge, even if you initially want to open it in another browser.

It became less and less simple

In older versions of Windows, the default browser can be chosen directly from the desired one. In Windows 10, in most cases, you have to enter the operating system settings (search for “default apps”) and choose what should be the default browser there.

When Windows 10 selects the default browser, the mappings for all file types and related protocols (such as HTTP, HTTPS, etc.)


The default app settings have been changed in Windows 11. Some features that Windows 10 supports have been removed. This makes switching some standard apps more complicated. Screenshot: Digi.no

This is not the case in Windows 11, at least in the beta version available now. In the upcoming OS, there are no app categories – such as browser, photo viewer and video recorder – one can with a single select link to the favorite app in these categories.

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Instead, you should do this for each file type and protocol supported by the current application, such as your browser. There could be quite a few.

Fortunately, just like in Windows 10, you can select the app first and get an overview of all the file types and protocols that the app’s publisher says they support. This means that you don’t have to scroll through an “endless” list of these mapping options. However, one must select each of these file types and protocols and tell Windows 11 which application to use to open them, if the default is not the preferred one.

Wanted by clients?

The Verge appeared last week This change reproduces a quote from a Microsoft spokesperson stating that the change was made because customers stated that they wanted more granular control over the assignment of standard applications.

Although the user interface has changed somewhat in Windows, the change only apparently means that the ability to set all file types and related protocols with a single click has been removed – also for application types such as photo viewer, video player, music player, and email client .

Also in Windows 10, users can choose which application should open each file type or protocol, if they wish to do so.

not impressive


If you want Vivaldi, for example, to be the default browser in Windows 11, the user must change a number of mappings for different file types and protocols/connection types, so that they don't open in Microsoft Edge.
If you want Vivaldi, for example, to be the default browser in Windows 11, the user must change a number of mappings for different file types and protocols/connection types, so that they don’t open in Microsoft Edge. The image only shows a small selection of settings that many will want to change. Screenshot: Digi.no

The Verge has been in touch with several browser providers. None of them liked the change Microsoft made in Windows 11. Among other things, a Mozilla spokesperson says that this is a worrying trend in Windows that has been happening since the advent of Windows 10, as the operating system makes it difficult for users to install and keep your favorite browser as the one The default in the operating system.

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According to The Verge, it is possible for Firefox users to set Firefox as the default in all related browser assignments without having to leave the browser. Such an option does not exist in Vivaldi, for example, which means that the user must make all changes manually.