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Windows 11's dumbest problem is finally getting fixed

Microsoft relented to criticism and finally made changing your default browser a one-click process.

Published onMarch 29, 2022

Windows 11 logo image
  • It is now a one-click process to change your Windows 11 default browser.
  • Previously, you needed to change multiple file extension associations.
  • Microsoft made the change under intense criticism from users and other companies.

By now, most people who want to (and are able to) upgrade to Windows 11 have done so. Unfortunately, those who have upgraded inevitably come across a peculiar situation: setting a different web browser as default in the new Windows is a huge pain.

As of today, changing your Windows 11 default browser involves manually changing file associations. You need to go to Settings > Apps > Default apps and change everything currently attached to Microsoft Edge to Chrome, Firefox, or your browser of choice. It’s an overly difficult process for something that should be a one-click affair.

See also: What you should know before upgrading to Windows 11

Thankfully, Microsoft is finally fixing this problem. In build KB5011563, the one-click solution we were all used to from Windows 10 is back. Instead of needing to switch multiple file extension associations, you’ll just click a button at the top of the page that will set your preferred default browser. After you click, Windows 11 will automatically update all the extensions for you.

It’s incredibly likely that Microsoft made this process overly tricky to push people to stay on Microsoft Edge. After all, the majority of users wouldn’t fully understand how to update the Windows 11 default browser and just deal with web links opening in Edge. However, user backlash to the change was rampant, as was the backlash from other companies, including Mozilla and Google. It seems Microsoft has finally relented.

Windows 11 version KB5011563 is rolling out now, so be on the lookout for it.

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