After setting up a new device or fresh installation, by default, Windows 11 sets Microsoft Edge as the default browsing experience for the most common links and file types to open this application regardless of any other web browser you may have installed.
While Microsoft Edge is arguably the best browser for Windows users since it's based on the Chromium engine developed by Google, and it packs a lot of cool features, for example, vertical tabs, collections, extensions, Kids Mode, password monitor, and cross-platform support, many users still prefer other applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera — to name a few.
If you want to use another web browser on Windows 11, it's possible to set it as the new default. The only caveat is that it appears that Microsoft is making it more difficult to change the settings since currently, you need to specify each link and file type the new browser should open by default.
In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to set your preferred browser as the new default on your device.
How to change the default web browser on Windows 11
To set a new default web browser on Windows 11, use these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Apps.
- Click the Default apps page on the right side.
- Select the browser you want to use as the new default on Windows 11. For example, Google Chrome.
- Click on .htm option.
- Select the Switch anyway option.
- Select the Google Chrome option.
- Click the OK button.
- Repeat steps No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 for these file or link types:
- (Optional) Select each of the remaining types and select your preferred browser.
Once you complete the steps, your browser of choice will be the new system default on Windows 11.
Although it appears that this time around is a lot more difficult to make another browser the default, consider that Windows 11 still hasn't been officially finalized, and the process may change in the final product. For instance, currently, if you open Microsoft Edge on
click the "Make default" button makes the browser the new default without additional steps, but if you click the same option on other browsers, you will only be directed to the "Default apps" page, which might indicate that the extra steps are temporary.
More Windows resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:
- Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know
- Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
- Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.
Honestly I think this is temporary but on a side note if you want to change the default browser in win 10 via gpo you have to do something similar with the default file association xml.
In Windows 10, there is a blanket option of Web Browser and then the choice to change each extension. In Windows 11, you just have to change each and every extension. The fact that Edge can be "made default" in one pass, but other browsers cannot, means they've likely chosen to make it more difficult to change the default browser. How many average users do you know that understand what file extensions even are, let alone which ones are relevant to the browser? That's even with the fact that they can probably just go through and change any that currently are set to Edge. I work tech support, and I'm absolutely certain this will cause a lot of calls if it doesn't get changed.
It could be there's no functionality in Windows 11 to make setting the default browser more easily for browsers. Making it more difficult to change that setting is asking for anti-trust violation and there's a new head of the FTC that's not very fond of big tech having so much power either.
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