Mozilla reverse engineers Microsoft Edge's default browser setting behavior
Making a web browser the default browser was not a particular big problem until Windows 10 came along and with its Microsoft's Edge web browser. Microsoft made it harder on Windows 10 to change default programs, including the default browser.
Users who want to make other browsers, any other browser but Microsoft Edge, the default system browser on Windows 10, need to do so manually. Microsoft claims it is for security, but it is certainly giving its Edge browser a significant boost as well.
A Chrome user who wants to make the browser the default on Windows 10 has to find the option in the Settings. A click opens the Default apps section of the Settings app. There it is necessary to find the Web Browser entry, click on it and select Chrome as the new default. All browsers, with the exception of Microsoft's Edge browser, can be made the default, but only by following the steps described above.
With Edge, all it takes is to click on the "make default" button in the Settings to make it the default system browser immediately.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system makes things even harder, as Microsoft removed common application types from the settings. While all browsers, with the notable exception of Edge, may still load the default apps Settings page on the Windows 11 system, users can no longer click on Web browser to set the new browser with just two clicks. The option is gone.
Now, users have to select the browser, e.g. Brave, and make it the default for every supported file type and link type manually. More work for the user, unless Edge is the desired default browser, as it takes just a click in the browser's settings to make it the default.
Microsoft claims that it wanted to give uses more granular control, but it did not reveal why it had to remove the option to make a program the default for all supported file types and link types, for that.
Mozilla has found a solution
It is clear that browser makers, with the exception of Microsoft, are not too happy about the changes that Microsoft implemented in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Microsoft is giving its own Edge browser at an advantage over the competition.
Firefox users who install Firefox 91 on Windows 11 and set it as the default system browser may have noticed that they did not have to go through the entire ordeal. Instead, Firefox becomes the system browser just like Edge in that version.
Mozilla reverse engineered the functionality that Microsoft reserved for its Edge browser, so that Firefox users may make the browser the default just as quickly as Edge users can theirs.
Other browser makers may do the same to provide their users with the same level of comfort when it comes to setting the default browser.
It is probably only a matter of time before Microsoft will intervene again and make changes to the operating system to make things complicated again?
Now You: what is your take on all this?Advertisement