When Microsoft announced Windows 11 in June, the company mentioned how the OS would be more open, giving users an enhanced productivity experience for all. It now looks like that only applies to the Edge browser because Microsoft has made changing your default browser in Windows 11 a daunting task.
According to multiple reports, when setting up Windows 11, you get a single opportunity to pick a different browser. Then, like magic, the ability to choose a different default browser becomes difficult and comes with several hurdles. In Windows 10, when you download Chrome, you get the option to switch your default and to select "always use this app," which is simple and quick to do.
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In Windows 11, choosing a different browser is more complicated. Instead of selecting "Always use this app," users are now forced to pick, choose and select defaults for different types of links and files. So they've thrown out the simple universal toggle, and users now have to waste time choosing which browser will handle different formats like HTML, HTTPS, and PDFs. Anyone else starting to feel like the stables are overflowing?
You will now be forced to make Google Chrome your default browser across 11 different file types; if you don't, Edge will automatically open a PDF or other file that you've not set Chrome up to handle.
Hopefully, Microsoft fixes this in the final iteration of Windows 11 since these reports are based on the upcoming OS preview builds. It would be a mistake for a supposedly flowing and open OS to prevent users from having third-party browser options. T
“We have been increasingly worried about the trend on Windows,” Selena Deckelmann, senior vice president of Firefox, told The Verge. “Since Windows 10, users have had to take additional and unnecessary steps to set and retain their default browser settings. These barriers are confusing at best and seem designed to undermine a user’s choice for a non-Microsoft browser.”
With all the litigation happening with regards to competitive fairness, you would think Microsoft's legal department would have sent out a memo to fix the issue. As Opera's head of browsers stated, "Taking away user choice is a step backwards.”