Here is how to make widget and search links open in default browser in Windows 11. Microsoft recently confirmed that some of the features in Windows 10 and 11 work exclusively with the Edge browser regardless of your default browser setting, and the company does not plan to change that. That means Windows Search, Windows Widgets, and some other parts of the operating system will continue opening links in Edge whether you like it or not.
What makes things worse is that Microsoft promises to close all the loopholes third-party developers may try to use to bypass those limitations. A change in the latest Windows 11 preview build, for example, has killed a popular app called EdgeDeflector.
Although the developer behind EdgeDeflector has said he will not provide updates for the app, other enthusiasts are here to save the day and offer simple utilities that allow you to open all links in a default browser.
Tip: Learn how to set a default browser in Windows 11 here.
What you need is a simple open-source script made by AveYo, a developer behind a modified Media Creation Tool batch file that allows users to create a Windows 11 installation media for incompatible devices. The script is open-source, and you can be sure it will not do any harm to your computer. It also has quite a fitting name: ChrEdgeFkOff.
Open Windows 11 Search Links in Default Browser
- Open Windows Terminal as Administrator; use the PowerShell profile, which is the default.
- Click this link to open a GitHub page with the code you need.
- Copy lines 1-23.
- Go back to Windows Terminal and paste the code. Windows Terminal will warn you about pasting text with multiple lines. Confirm by clicking the Paste anyway button.
- Windows Terminal will automatically execute the script and open a new PowerShell window. It will prompt you to press any key to continue.
- Alternatively, you can wait for 5 seconds, and the window will disappear. The green line should show "INSTALLED."
- Now you can search for anything using Windows Search. The script will take care of redirecting requests to your preferrable browser instead of Microsoft Edge.
To restore the default behavior, all you need to do is execute the script once again.
There is another app that lets you open links from Windows Widgets or search requests in your preferrable browser. It is a slightly less elegant option because it requires a small application to start with Windows and run in the background. Still, it works and does the job fine.
Open Search and Widgets Links in Default Browser
- Go to the project's GitHub releases page and find the latest version.
- Download MSEdgeRedirect.exe. Note that Windows SmartScreen might warn you about a potentially harmful download. Ignore that warning.
- Launch the app, then right-click its icon in the notification area. Place a checkmark next to the "Start with Windows" option.
- Now you can use Windows as you usually do.
Keep in mind that MSEdgeRedirect is a public beta, which means you may encounter some bugs or weird issues. We tried it and found it works like a charm.
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