The default web browser in a new installation of Windows 11 is Microsoft Edge, but if you’re not a big fan of Microsoft Edge, Microsoft is making it difficult and complicated to switch to your favorite browser.
In Windows 11, Microsoft appears to be aggressive in enforcing Microsoft Edge* as the default web browsing program and also removes any other third-party applications that existed as defaults before upgrading to Windows 11.
* Note: Microsoft recommends Edge browser because it claims that is fast, safe and can protect you from malicious attacks from malware, unconfirmed websites and malicious email attachments.
If you prefer to make Google Chrome, Firefox or any other third-party web browser of your choice your default browser, you can do so by following the instructions below.
How to Change the Default Web Browser on Windows 11.
Here are the steps to set your favorite web browser as the default in Windows 11:
2. Click Default apps on the right.
3. Under Set defaults for applications, either scroll down the list to find your proffered browser or type its name in the “Search” field.
4. Click on your favorite browser (e.g. “Google Chrome”).
5. Here you can view a list of all file types that assigned to open with Microsoft Edge, such as .HTM, .HTML, .SHTML, .SVG, .XHT, .XHTML, .FTP, .HTTP, .HTTPS, .PDF, etc. In Windows 11, it is impossible to change your default browser with a single click and you have to change the browser that was assigned for .htm & .html file types. To do that:
1. Click on .htm file type, select your favorite browser from the list and click OK. (If a pop-up “Before you switch” appear urging you to stick with Microsoft Edge, go ahead and select “Switch anyway”).
2. Perform the same steps for the .html file type.
6. At this point you will have finished setting up the default web browser in Windows 11. If you want to prevent Edge from being the default application for other file types, simply follow the same steps for each file type in the list. I know it is tough, right?
There is more…Even after you switch your default browser to another app other than Microsoft Edge, you’re still going to get Microsoft Edge as the favorite browser for a number of Windows apps and most especially the Windows 11 search and news widget that appears on the taskbar.
For instance, if you click on any headline news, it will open the webpage in Microsoft Edge. If you consider that feature annoying, then follow the instructions below to open all Edge-specific links from other apps, to your preferred browser
How to Change Default Web Browser for Windows 11 Search & News links.
Before you continue below, you should know that normally, changing the default browser for other Windows 11 apps should be done via the Start menu -> Settings -> Apps -> Default apps -> Choose defaults by link type -> MICROSOFT-EDGE.
But if you navigate there and click on “Microsoft Edge”, you’ll see that the 3rd party browsers you have installed don’t show up as an option.
So, if you want to open all associated Edge links from other Windows apps (like the Cortana assistant, built-in help links, news links, etc.) with your favorite browser, the only way is to install a third-party application called “EdgeDeflector” *. To perform this task:
* Note: EdgeDeflector is a small utility that intercepts URLs opening web links in Microsoft Edge and redirects them to open in your favorite browser (Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.). After playing around with the program, I noticed that it is still experiencing compatibility issue with Windows 11 and not yet stable.
1. Navigate to EdgeDeflector GitHub releases webpage.
2. Click on “EdgeDeflector_install.exe” to download EdgeDeflector.
3. When the download complete, double-click on “EdgeDeflector_install.exe” to install EdgeDeflector on Windows 11.
5. Scroll down to the bottom and click Choose defaults by link type.
6. Find the MICOSOFT-EDGE section on the list (or type “edge” in search box)
7. Click on Microsoft Edge.
8. Select the “EdgeDeflector” from the list and click OK to confirm the changes.
9. You’re done! EdgeDeflector should now intercept links that try to force-open in Microsoft Edge and open them using your default web browser instead.
That’s it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.