Back in August of this past year, Microsoft became notorious for its decision to intentionally make it more difficult for anyone looking to switch away from its Edge browser to do so. Instead of visiting the “Defaults” setting in Windows 11 and simply clicking over to another installed browser as the default for opening web links and files, it separated the task into a load of smaller tasks.
Basically, if you wanted to switch to Chrome, you had to do so via individual file handlers (HTM, HTML, PDF, SHTML, SVG, WEBP, XHT, XHTML, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS). This required clicking each option, selecting Chrome from a menu of installed programs, and then clicking “OK”. Tom Warren shows this exhausting process off in his tweet above.
While this under-the-radar decision didn’t solely affect Chrome users as it also posed an issue for those using Brave, Firefox, Opera, and others, there are certainly a lot of Chrome users who were pretty miffed about the change, and I can’t blame them. Also, while not everyone even has Windows 11 yet, the fact that the company even tried to pull a stunt like this was pretty telling of its future plans to force everyone to use Edge.
All of that to say that this decision has now been reversed, and setting Chrome, or any other browser other than Microsoft’s own as your default is now an all-in-one setting again like it used to be. In update KB5011563, which began rolling out this week, this is reflected, and everyone should be happy again.
By opening “Default apps” via the Windows Settings app and then clicking “Chrome”, a “Set default” button will appear up at the top where it says “Make Chrome your default browser”. In the example above from The Verge, you can see they’re testing this with Firefox, but it doesn’t matter which browser you’re using, the prompt will still appear post update. I’d be interested to see how many of you are using Chrome on Windows 11 for one of your devices, and whether or not you’ve received this update yet!