Windows 11 will make it difficult for users to switch from default browsers, as Microsoft has supposedly adjusted the way you can change operating system defaults. This will make it harder for users to switch their default browser to competing products like Microsoft Edge’s Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. After installing a new browser on Windows 11 and opening a web link for the first time, you will see a prompt. This will allow you to decide if you want to select the browser as the default on your system by checking the option “Always use this application”. It’s similar to how you see prompts for setting default apps in Windows 10.
However, The Verge reports that the prompt to select the browser as the default application will be only opportunity to easily select a new default browser. This means that if you don’t change the defaults right away, you’ll have to take a more complex approach to changing the settings in the future.
In Windows 10, you can switch between different default apps at any time by visiting Definitions > Apps > default apps. It’s something you’ll get in Windows 11, but with a complicated process as Microsoft has allowed users on its new operating system to assign a new default app based on file type, as initially reported on Thurrott.com.
So if you want to change your default browser in Windows 11 to a new one, you’ll have to select that new browser in the ‘Default apps’ list and then choose it for each file or link type one by one. The process is even tedious, especially for browsers, as Microsoft will give you an additional prompt to try Edge when you select a new browser such as Chrome or Firefox as your default option.
Competitors such as Brave, Google, Mozilla, Opera and Vivaldi have expressed concern about the move to The Verge. However, Microsoft is justifying the change by saying it will allow Windows 11 users to have more control over standard applications.
“With Windows 11, we’re implementing customer feedback to customize and control standards at a more granular level, eliminating app categories and bringing all apps to the forefront of the standards experience,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in an statement quoted by The Verge.
“As evidenced by this shift, we are constantly listening and learning, and we welcome customer feedback that helps shape Windows. Windows 11 will continue to evolve over time; if we learn from the user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will. ”
Windows 11 is currently in testing and is provided in a preliminary version for developers and enthusiasts. However, Microsoft is expected to make the new operating system available for public release in October.