Microsoft is reverting a change made in Windows 11 that made changing your preferred browser through the system settings much more difficult. Microsoft has included a button to the Settings app in Windows 11 build 22509, which was released earlier this week, that allows you to rapidly change your default browser to whatever you choose, as found by Twitter user Rafael Rivera.
When you go to the file associations page for a browser like Chrome, you’ll now find a button at the top that lets you set it your default browser, as seen in an image given by Rivera. This is also the screen that appears when a browser asks whether you want to make it your default, making it much easier to change your default browser with just a few clicks. Microsoft has confirmed that this change is intentional, but it hasn’t said whether we’ll have to wait until next fall for a full feature upgrade or if it’ll be provided as part of a cumulative update to Windows 11.
This is a significant development because it was one of Microsoft’s most divisive measures in its attempt to force people to use the Edge browser. If you try to open a link outside of a browser with Windows 11 and you have multiple browsers installed, you’ll be prompted to select one.
However, unless you choose a different browser and choose the checkbox to make that browser your default, Edge will be the default from then on. To add insult to injury, the Windows 11 Settings page no longer allows you to select a default browser programme in general; instead, you must alter the associations for the HTTP protocol, HTML files, and other items one by one, making changing your default browser considerably more difficult. This motivated Mozilla to create a hack that allowed Firefox to bypass all of this and become the default browser.
It gets worse, though, because Microsoft has taken additional steps that go against the will of users. Edge Deflector, a software that diverted native Windows 11 URLs from Edge to the user’s default browser, was recently prohibited by Microsoft. It was only recently that it was found that Microsoft is likewise displaying dissuasive prompts in the Edge browser when users try to download Google Chrome. Hopefully, additional consumer-friendly modifications will be implemented, making it easier for people to select their preferred browser.
Aside from this update, Windows 11 build 22509 added a few additional modifications to the operating system, including more new customization choices for the Start menu, such as the ability to see more pinned things or more items from the Recommended list at the bottom. It also brought more Control Panel options into the Windows 11 Settings app, as part of Microsoft’s long-running effort to combine all of its settings into a single interface.