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Microsoft will finally respect your default browser choice, but only in Europe

Published Sep 6th, 2023 5:00PM EDT
A laptop running Windows 11
Image: Microsoft

Since its release, Windows 11 has continued to push users towards Microsoft Edge, refusing to accept the default browser choice that you’ve made in the operating system. Now, though, that could finally be changing, at least in European countries, as Microsoft will finally respect your Windows 11 browser settings.

This change will finally allow you to open links from the Windows 11 widgets, as well as links that appear in the Start menu search area, without your computer trying to open them in Edge. This previously required a workaround to avoid opening links in Edge, and if you’re still in the United States or outside the EU, you’ll need to rely on those workarounds.

Our own José Adorno has talked in the past about how useful Microsoft Edge can be, especially on the Mac, but the fact of the matter is that Microsoft continues to press its browser on people despite them trying to use other browsers. It’s even gone so far as to send popups to Windows users, prompting them to use Edge. These prompts have even been popping up on top of video games and fullscreen applications.

Microsoft Edge browser icon.
Microsoft Edge browser icon. Image source: Microsoft

It’s a bit despicable as far as practices go, and it’s honestly sad that it hasn’t taken this long for Microsoft to address it, even if it’s only addressing it in a single part of the world. The hope is that this change will eventually see its way to Windows 11 versions outside of the EU, though knowing Microsoft, it probably won’t do anything of the sort until it is forced to.

This issue has long predated Windows 11, too. Windows 10 users used to have to use a workaround to avoid using Edge when opening links from the widgets offered there, so this is something we’ve been dealing with for a long time.

The change to how Windows 11’s browser settings work was detailed in an update to the Windows 11 Insider channel, detailing that users in the European Economic Area (EEA) could now take advantage of their default browser of choice all across Windows.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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