Switching browsers in Windows 11 used to be associated with hurdles. That changes now with this update.
Windows 11 makes it easier to switch default browsers.
Microsoft is reacting to another major criticism of Windows 11 users: Anyone who wanted to change the standard browser from Edge to – let’s say – Chrome or Firefox, needed a lot of perseverance. Already in August 2021 and thus before the start of Windows 11, we had complained that a proud 11 clicks are necessary for a browser change. We have also dedicated a detailed guide to this topic: Windows 11 – How to change the default browser.
But now the rescue is near: In the latest optional update KB5011563 for Windows 11, Microsoft has implemented a change that massively simplifies changing the default browser. As in Windows 10, this only requires one click, but there is a limitation. More on that later.
How to change the default browser in Windows 11 with one click
The optional update KB5011563, which we also reported on here, increases the build number of Windows 11 to build 2000.593 after installation. The update is intended to fix various causes of crashes, but there is also an undocumented change in the default apps options, as our sister publication PC-WORLD reports. This change is already active, as we could see on our Windows 11 test computer.
Chrome can be set as the default browser with one click
Under “Settings, Apps, Default apps, Google Chrome” there is now at the top the note “Set Google Chrome as your default browser” and the button “Set as default”. If the button is clicked, Windows 11 automatically changes all assignments for various file types from the previous standard browser (“Microsoft Edge” when delivered) to the new browser.
This only applies to .htm, .html, HTTP and HTTPS. And this is the limitation already mentioned above. With .pdf, .svg or FTP, the user’s request is ignored and the Edge assignment remains. The user must therefore intervene manually here. To do this, simply click on the relevant entry and assign the desired browser (or other installed app).
Side note: If you try this with PDF, Microsoft quickly displays an Edge advert and prompts the user: “Try Microsoft Edge – fast, secure and designed for Windows 11”. Here, a click on the “Change anyway” link is necessary if the user wants to enforce his wish.