If you’ve updated your computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you may have noticed that when you click on a link for a website, PDF document, or various other file types, it will now be sent to Microsoft’s Edge browser. . With the new version of Windows, Microsoft seems to have become particularly aggressive in forcing their own apps on apps installed by default prior to the upgrade. In other words, Edge suddenly became your default browser.
Normally, the first time you go to another non-Edge browser – for example, Google Chrome – the non-Edge browser will instead ask if you want to make it the default. However, the process of changing your defaults in Windows 11 has become more complex than in Windows 10. Therefore, you may not receive this useful request – or if you do, it may take you to a cluttered-looking page titled “Application >”. Default apps.” Either way, here’s how to switch.
Change default browsers
If you don’t want Edge to be your default browser and your favorite browser doesn’t or has offered to make changes for you but instead sends you to the “Default apps” page – here’s how to make that change. default. I’m using Google Chrome for this example, but this should work with any browser you have installed on your system.
- Select Settings > Apps > Default apps
- Under “Set defaults for apps” navigate to where your preferred browser is listed or type the name in the “Search for apps” field. Click on the application.
- You will see a list of browser-related files and the application it is currently associated with under each filename. In Windows 11, you cannot change your default browser with one click – you have to change the assigned browser for each specific file type.
- Look for file types assigned to Edge, such as .HTM, .HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, and perhaps .PDF (unless you have a PDF reader of choice). Click the ones you want to change.
- You may get a “Before you switch” popup asking you to try Microsoft Edge – go ahead and click “Switch anyway”. You will see a popup with a “Continue using this app” selection at the top and your other installed browsers below. Go ahead and choose the one you want to use. (Note that there may be some file types that will not be offered as an alternative to your browser.)
Note: While you are reading this, some browsers may have installed a system that allows you to more easily change your default browser. For example, when this was written, the first time I opened Firefox, it asked if I wanted it to be the default. I let it continue, and when I went to the “Default apps” section of the setup, I found that Firefox is now set as the default for .HTM, .HTML, .HTTP, and .HTTPS files. Edge was still listed for .PDF, .SHTML, .SVG, .XHT, and .XHTML files.
One more thing: if you open Edge for any reason, you will get the expected popup asking you to return to “recommended browser settings”.
This won’t solve everything
But wait – there’s more. Even after you change your browser’s default to something other than Edge, you will still have Edge as the preferred browser for a number of Windows apps. For example, open Windows 11’s new Widgets pane (by clicking the Widgets icon in your taskbar, it looks like a two-paned window) and click on one of the news items that appear there – the link will open. Corner.
If you find this annoying, there may be an app for it. To open Edge-specific links, you need to do the following:
- Go to Settings > Apps > Default Apps.
- Scroll down until you see “Choose defaults by connection type”.
- Click on that and then type “Edge” in the search box labeled “Set defaults for connection types”.
- Under the “Microsoft-Edge” label you will see “Microsoft Edge”. Click on that and you will see other browsers you can use to open these private links.
Interestingly, if you install Chrome or Firefox, you won’t see them as options. However, if you install the Brave browser, intent see this as an option – and if you choose this, every time you click a news link in the Widget pane, it will appear in Brave.
Another possibility is a tool called Edge Deflector This was originally created in Windows 10 to break all Edge-specific links and instantly rewrite them so they can be opened by the default web browser. I did some browsing and read that the latest version, v22.214.171.124, will work with Windows 11.
I installed and followed the installation instructions. Unfortunately, while this worked for most links, it didn’t quite work when I clicked on a link from news sources in the Widgets pane – the link opened in Chrome but none of the graphics came up. I’ll keep an eye on this app though…
Update October 8, 2021 at 1:10 PM ET: Clarified what happens when some browsers offer to change your defaults.
Update October 10, 2021 at 10:30 AM ET: Updated to include instructions to allow Brave browser to open certain private Windows links.
Update Nov 15, 2021 5pm ET: Added note about Microsoft blocking EdgeDeflector.