How-To

How to Change the Default Browser to Anything on Windows 11

Making Microsoft Edge your default browser for some file types is a bit of a hassle on Windows 11. Here’s how to do it.

When you first get Windows 11 set up, you will notice that the default browser is Microsoft Edge. This is a new version of the browser that’s based on Goggle’s Chromium code. It is a more versatile version of the browser and can be updated more regularly. You don’t need to wait for OS Updates to get browser updates. And, since it is built on Chromium, it runs Google Chrome browsers and has a Kid’s Mode to help you with parenting while using the computer.

Note: The legacy Edge worked so sloppily, and updates were so slow to come out, Microsoft retired the original Edge on April, 13st of 2020. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft is getting rid of IE 11 next year.

And now, when you install Windows 11, Microsoft makes the new Edge the default browser. This may seem all well and good if you want to use Microsoft products and services exclusively. But you might have a favorite browser you’ve been using for years like Firefox and/or Google Chrome. If you fall into that boat, here’s how to set your browser to anything you want on Windows 11.

Set Default Browser on Windows 11

To get started, go to Start > Settings > Apps. Then on the right column, click on Default Apps from the list.

default-apps-edge-windows-11

Now, select the browser you want to use as the default on Windows 11. Note that only the browsers you have installed will be an available option. To find a browser more easily, type in the search term of the browser you want. For example, I am using Google Chrome.

Chrome Default

Next, under the options for Chrome, click on the “Switch away” option. And then, from the box that comes up, click on Google Chrome.

Microsoft Edge Browser Windows 11

Now, on the next screen, click on the .htm, and from the box that appears, click on Google Chrome – or the browser you want as the default.

A reminder message will come up urging you to use Microsoft Edge. Just ignore it and click the “Switch anyway” link.

A reminder message will come up urging you to use Microsoft Edge. Just ignore it and click the “Switch anyway” link.

switch anyway

That’s all there is to it. Note that you need to follow the same steps for each file type – i.e., PDF, Webp, HTML, and others.

Note: Keep in mind that this is written while the first version of the Windows 11 beta was released. Also, you can make Edge the default by going to:

edge://settings/defaultBrowser

Make Edge Default Windows 11

Then make the browser the default. However, if you follow the same option on the browsers, you’ll be directed to the “Default apps” page we just covered.

Hopefully, by the time the final version is released, making Edge (or another browser) the default will be easier. And in the meantime, if you’re a Start menu user, read how to find apps alphabetically by the first letter.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. mikeawn viznet

    imagine doing that manually pointing 900 different extensions to just open with one software in particular for 5 different type of files.

  2. Phillip Krause

    Hi Brian,

    Looks like Microsoft Internet Explorer is disabled by default. Have you discovered any way to completely uninstall Internet Explorer?

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