It seems that Microsoft is reversing the awful default app system it introduced with Windows 11. The latest Windows 11 update (22000.593) allows users to set a default browser with one click, eliminating the need to manually select which URLs and file types open in which browser.
Previously, Windows 11 users had to dig through a list of URLs and file types (HTM, HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, PDF, etc) and set each one to open in their browser of choice. It was not an intuitive system, and many customers felt that Microsoft was forcing them to use the Edge browser.
But the new Windows 11 update introduces a big “Set Default” button that lets you select a default browser in one click. Microsoft began testing this button in an Insider built last December, and while we’re not sure why it took so long to reach regular customers, we’re just happy it’s here. (Oddly enough, Microsoft didn’t even announce the change in its Windows release notes.)
There’s just one complaint on our end. Microsoft made it easier to set a default browser, but setting other default apps is still a pain. You can’t make VLC your default video player without digging through settings, for example.
Additionally, Microsoft is still locking down its custom URIs. These weblinks hide all over the Windows operating system—they’re in default apps, widgets, and settings. Unfortunately, they open in Edge by default, and you can’t change that behavior.
Once you install the latest Windows 11 update (22000.593), you can set a default browser by opening Settings, navigating to “Apps,” and selecting “Default Apps.” Note that this is an optional update, and its contents will probably be included in the mandatory update coming mid-April.