Changing the default browser in Windows 11 is a challenge. Instead of providing users with a simple toggle, Windows 11 forces you to switch file associations for more than 12 various formats. Two months after releasing Windows 11 to the public and following a major user backlash, Microsoft is finally changing how its latest operating system manages default browsers.
Windows 11 build 22509, released yesterday, contains a new button the lets you set a third-party browser as default with a single click. Interestingly, Microsoft decided not to mention such a breakthrough fix in the official release notes.
Starting with Windows 11 22509, to change the default browser in Windows 11, you need to open Windows Settings and go to the Apps > Default apps section. Select your preferred browser and click the Set default button.
Of course, Microsoft is Microsoft, which means there are still caveats and asterisks. For starters, the new button does not set Chrome (or other browsers) as default for various files, such as PDF or SVG. Users still need to pick an app manually in the Settings app.
Also, Microsoft does not plan to backtrack some of its Edge-imposing rules. Windows 10 and 11 will continue opening the Edge browser when you click specific links, such as Windows Widgets, regardless of your default browser. Fortunately, you can fix the latter using a simple script.
With that in mind, it is good to see Microsoft finally giving users an easy way to change the default browser in Windows 11. Perhaps, the company will consider other suggestions and stop trying to shove Edge—an overall amazing browser—down the throats of millions of users against their will.
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