Switching from Microsoft Edge to another browser will be more difficult on Windows 11.

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The Microsoft method is the default method.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated earlier this year in an interview that Windows 11 is designed to provide “the most options.” A recent preview build, on the other hand, says differently. After it became evident that Microsoft is effectively confusing browser options, the corporation is modifying the way programme defaults are configured in Windows, which has attracted criticism from browser vendors.

Microsoft has been working hard to get its Chromium-based Edge browser into the hands of Windows 10 customers through a variety of means since its release. It has made it the default browser following major Windows upgrades, provided “advice” on how to switch to its one and only “prefered” browser, and even pushed full-screen advertising within the out-of-the-box experience when you instal a new Windows 10 P.

When Microsoft unveiled Windows 11, it produced a great initial impression, but it was short-lived. The business later stated that it would require TPM to work, and that Windows 10 users would have to wait until next year to acquire it as a free upgrade. Then it quickly became apparent that you’ll need a relatively new CPU to run it, a requirement that may or may not be relaxed upon release.

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If these annoyances weren’t enough, it looks like Microsoft is also making sure you won’t be able to easily avoid its web browser in this next-gen version of Windows. In Windows 10, switching to an alternative like Firefox or any of the other Chromium-based browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave is as easy as installing it and then going to Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps and setting it as default. Most browsers will also ask you if you want to make them the default upon installation.

As The Verge notes, Microsoft is changing how you set app defaults in Windows 11 to the point where you’ll have to be very careful, or you’ll miss your only easy chance to switch to a different web browser. Right after installing an alternative browser and opening a web link, users are presented with the option to select a preferred browser and a box telling Windows to “always use this app.”

This last step is critical, since skipping it will effectively make Edge as the default app not only for web links, but also for.pdf,.svg, and a variety of other file types. This will make things more difficult for many people (particularly those who aren’t tech smart), but Microsoft informed The Verge that the decision was made in response to customer input. However, the corporation is aware of the potential reaction, and it is prepared to “adjust” if it discovers that users do not like how these modifications function.

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As expected, the competition in the web browser space is disappointed by the move, but they also aren’t completely surprised by it. Mozilla sees it as a trend that’s been going on for years, and other browser makers believe Microsoft is once again using Windows to shoehorn users into using first-party apps. As for Google’s take on this, senior vice president of Chrome, Android, Chrome OS, Play, and Photos says he hopes these changes won’t make it into the final version of Windows 11.

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