There are a lot of differences between Windows 11 in its current beta state and the final version. When compared to Windows 10, the design and a few of the stock apps have changed. One recent change that has sparked debate is the replacement of the default web browser. Although you can still change file associations to set a default browser in Windows 11, Microsoft has (so far) removed the ability to switch browsers with a single click.
Tom Warren of The Verge recently reported on this, stating that Microsoft is making it more difficult to switch default web browsers in the next-generation operating system.
Is this, however, the case? Follow along with us as we look at how to change the default web browser in Windows 11 and make your own decision.
However, please keep in mind that our guide is subject to change. Windows 11 is still in beta and isn’t ready yet. We’ll do our best to keep the guide up to date if the steps we mention here change.
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Changing the default to Google Chrome
Switching from Edge to Chrome is one of the most compelling reasons for people to change their default web browser. If you didn’t take advantage of the one-time-only “always use this app” button that appears when you install Chrome in Windows 11, here’s how to switch to Chrome permanently from Edge.
Again, there is a significant difference between Windows 11 and Windows 10. Instead of going to a single app defaults settings page and clicking a big button to change the default web browser, you’ll have to change the default for each type of web link or file type individually. The difference is visible in our slider above, but here’s how it happened.
- Open Google Chrome and go to the Settings page.
- On the sidebar, select Default Browser.
- Make a default by clicking the Make Default button.
- Search for Google Chome in the Search Apps box on the settings page that appears.
- Select Google Chrome from the drop-down menu to the right of the box. Change all of Microsoft Edge’s default file types and link types to Google Chrome.
To be fair to Microsoft, the most commonly used web types and links are right there for you to change. .htm and.html are two examples. You are free to swap these out as you see fit. Simply close the web browser when you’re done, and you’re done.
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Changing to a different web browser
If you don’t use Google Chrome as your primary web browser, the steps to change the default web browser may differ. For more information on how to change this, see the instructions below.
- Open the Windows 11 Settings App
- Click the Apps link in the sidebar
- Click the Default apps subsection on the right
- Under where it says set defaults for applications search for your web browser in the list
- Click on the web browser name
- Change every file type or link type in the list so it has your browser name instead of Microsoft Edge.
Possible changes to come?
The response to the new settings has been mixed, and there is currently a thread about it in the Windows 11 Feedback hub with over 600 upvotes. Other web browser spokespeople have also slammed Microsoft’s new method of changing the default web browser. Microsoft, on the other hand, claims to be “constantly listening and learning,” and that “customer feedback that helps shape Windows” is welcome. However, there is reason to believe that things will improve soon.
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