We have covered plenty of instances where Microsoft has attempted to steer Windows users to Microsoft Edge by making it harder to access other browsers. In the latest such move, the company seems have made microsoft-edge: URI scheme from being overridden.
According to Daniel Aleksanderson, the developer of EdgeDeflector, Windows 11 is now directly stopping third-party browsers from intercepting microsoft-edge:// links. This basically means it is now longer to prevent Edge from being the default for OS level links.
Speaking to Neowin, Aleksandersen explains what this means:
“Windows has not blocked third-parties from registering protocol handlers, but it refuses to show them in the UI. It also ignores the setting if you change the default in the system registry. So, your choices are limited to Edge, Edge beta, and Edge dev.”
It is worth noting his observations were made on Windows 11 preview build 22494. This could mean Microsoft could make changes before the build leaves the Insider Program. However, if it remains Aleksandersen says it will leave users with less choice over browser defaults for certain tasks:
“This will leave end users with no option other than to change each file type manually. The machine I am writing from is running Windows 10 21H2 (19044.1348) and it is still possible to use EdgeDeflector for the microsoft-edge:// protocol which forces OS level web links to open in the default browser.”
Complex Default Process
Back in August, we reported Microsoft is controversially burying the process to switch default browsers on Windows 11 behind a more complex system.
On Windows 11, you will get one chance to see your browser alternatives before they are hidden away. Specifically, like on Windows 10 when you open a web link for the first time, or install a new browser, the platform gives you the opportunity to select it as default.
The company will now force users to set defaults for every link type or file. Yes, instead of a universal toggle, you have to work through each format like HTML, PDF, SVG, HTTPS, etc.
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