One of the most controversial changes in Windows 11 is how the operating system works with browsers. Changing the default browser in Windows 11 is a cumbersome and annoying process, and, as a bonus, Microsoft sometimes throws a wrench into the system by resetting configurations without your consent. After numerous complaints from developers and customers, Microsoft has finally fixed one of the most annoying settings in Windows 11 and restored the ability to change the default browser with a single click.
Yesterday, Microsoft released an optional cumulative update for the stable version of Windows 11. Apart from fixing a metric ton of bugs, the update backports improvements for the Settings app from the Dev channel. Windows 11 now lets you navigate to the default apps settings section, select your favorite browser, and make it the default one. The OS no longer requires you to manually change more than ten file associations just to force it open links in Google Chrome.
Here is how to change the default browser in Windows 11 after installing version 22000.593:
- Install the browser you prefer.
- Open the Settings app (Win + I) and navigate to Apps > Default Apps.
- Find your browser in the list of apps and open it.
- Click the Set default button.
Of course, Microsoft is still Microsoft, which means Windows 11 will continue trying to impose Edge in other ways. Changing the default browser in Windows 11 using the updated Settings app does not affect specific formats. For example, Edge will remain the default app for opening PDF, SHTML, SVG, FTP, and other web-related files. Also, you still need third-party tweakers to open links in Windows Widgets in a browser other than Microsoft Edge.
Still, it is good to see Microsoft listening to feedback from its customers and making Windows 11 less user-hostile. It is a step in the right direction that everyone welcomes. To get the latest improvements and bug fixes for Windows 11, go to Settings > Windows Update and download KB5011563.