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Microsoft Steps Back From the Default Browser Cliff

Posted December 3, 2021 | Microsoft Edge | Windows | Windows 11


With bad news at Microsoft Edge arriving almost daily, many were ready to give up on Microsoft’s web browser. But here’s a bit of good news for a change: in the latest Windows 11 test build, Microsoft has added back a button that lets you choose a default web browser with a single click. It doesn’t fix all of the many problems that enthusiasts have with Edge, let alone Windows 11. But it’s a nice de-escalation in the stupidity that has made this past year so troubling.

I learned about this change from Raphael Rivera—I still haven’t installed the latest Dev channel build of Windows 11—who tweeted about the change. The screenshots in his tweet show a single “Make [Google Chrome] your default browser” option with a “Set default” button in the Windows 11 Settings app. (Apps > Default apps > Google Chrome, in this case.)

It appears that selecting this option doesn’t pull all file types and protocols away from Edge—in one shot, you can clearly see that PDFs are still set to open in Edge even though Chrome supports this too—and we should be clear that this doesn’t change Microsoft’s broader strategy of using Edge—and thus Bing and MSN—when users select links in Widgets, Start Search, and elsewhere. But still. It’s a positive change from the situation in the shipping version of Windows 11.

So I guess we’ll see what happens. But this is good news.



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