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Microsoft is doing everything it can to force you to use the Edge browser with Windows 11

I smell an anti-trust suit in the making…

microsoft logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Windows 11 is a big step forwards for Microsoft, but in one important way, it’s taking a big step backward. See, it seems Microsoft is back to its old tricks again, making it hard for users to change their default browser away from Microsoft Edge.

The default apps section of the Windows 11 settings doesn’t have an easy to read section like in Windows 10, where it had specific menu items for selecting your default app for opening webpages, or email, or even your calendar. Instead, it’s now got a search box, which asks for a file type, or a link type, to get started.

That’s really obfuscating how to change things because the user first needs to know exactly what type of file or link they want to set a default for. It’s still confusing even if you use the list of apps below that search bar. Clicking on an app name, like Google Chrome, gives you a long list of the file and link types that the browser can handle, along with the existing defaults.

screenshot of the settings menu in windows 11 for setting default file handling behavior for google chrome
Image: KnowTechie

Sure, some of these are very common file or link types, but the point is that Microsoft shouldn’t be making it harder for its users to change things to their liking.

It’s not enough opening a third-party browser gives you a notification about if you want to use this as the default app in the future. You have to also select a tickbox to say to “Always use this app,” otherwise Microsoft makes you dig through the settings menu to set it later on.

That’s just not going to happen for the majority of users, who don’t tend to change their browser in the first place. Hopefully, Microsoft hears us before Windows 11 ships and brings back the Default Apps menu that exists in Windows 10. Otherwise, it might find itself on the end of yet another lawsuit for abusing its market dominance.

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