Until now early adopters of Windows 11 have had to deal with a frustrating downgrade: setting a default browser was seriously cumbersome. After some backlash, it looks like Microsoft has got the memo and is making what should be a relatively straightforward task much easier.
That latest build of Windows 11 (KB5011563 (opens in new tab)) is now rolling out, and brings with it a change to how the operating system handles default browser settings. Previously, switching your default browser involved manually changing individual file extensions, but now the process has been streamlined and takes just a couple of clicks.
Windows 11 launching with this pretty standard feature being so poorly implemented was likely in an attempt to get more users to default to Microsoft’s own Edge browser. The logic perhaps being that if switching your default browser over to the likes of Chrome or Firefox was made awkward many users wouldn’t bother and in turn Edge would see an increase in active users.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the inability to quick change your default browser wasn't well received by Windows 11 users. And Microsoft's rivals weren't too happy about the situation. Mozilla, Brave and even Google's head of Chrome expressed concerns around Microsoft's decision to make switching your default browser on Windows 11 a multiple step process.
Regardless of its reasoning, Microsoft have now fixed this issue and finally setting a default browser in Windows 11 is as straightforward as you’d expect. The feature is still slowly rolling out, but if you’ve upgraded to the latest version of Windows 11, here’s how to set your default browser.
How to set a default browser in Windows 11
1. Open the Settings menu.
2. Click Apps and then navigate to the Default Apps submenu using the left handle column.
3. Search for the browser you want to set to default. Only browsers currently installed on your device will appear here.
4. Look for the “make [browser] your default browser” prompt at the top of the window and click the Set default option.