Microsoft’s history of decisions with antitrust regulators has been controversial, but the company has more recently shown that it listens to feedback from customers and has changed course accordingly.
The new update is extensive and includes everything from improvements and changes, to support for new high-priority notifications. Microsoft’s official changelog for the update doesn’t list what is arguably the best feature, the ability to set your default browser with a single click.
Microsoft took a subtle approach in rolling out the newest Windows 11 update that allows users to choose the web browser they prefer, rather than being stuck with Edge.
In previous builds of Windows 11, you had to jump through several hoops to completely change your default browser. The operating system required users to individually set a default browser for every file type and link.
When installing a new browser and opening the first link, you are only given one chance to commit with a checkbox. This is easy to dismiss when you’re just trying to get something done or in a rush.
To change the default browser, you had to alter the default programme that opens file types such as .html, .htm, .mhtml, .pdf, and protocols like HTTP and HTTPS. Even then, a window would pop up trying to sell you the supposed advantages of using Microsoft’s Edge web browser, suggesting you should at least give it a try before making the switch.
Microsoft defended its decision to make switching defaults harder, but rival browser makers like Mozilla, Brave, and Google criticized Microsoft’s approach.
One issue that many users experienced was that even though it’s now easier to set their default browsers, setting defaults for other apps still requires you to go through the same steps. For example, you can’t make VLC your default video player without digging through settings.
In the latest Windows 11 update, you can now head into the default apps section of the Control Panel and search for your browser to make it your default. All of the work of changing file handlers is done in a single click, making this a big improvement over what existed before.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Settings menu.
- Go to Apps > Default Apps.
- Search for the browser you want to use.
- Look for the “Make [browser] your default browser” prompt at the top of the window and click Set default.
After updating to the latest build of Windows 11, it is much easier to switch your default browser.
Microsoft has clearly listened to the feedback and criticism over the changes it made here in Windows 11. The software manufacturing company continues to improve Windows 11 with various updates.
As this is an optional update, for now, you’ll need to look for it in the “Optional updates” area in Windows Update — Advanced options.
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