Microsoft released the Windows 11 Insider build 22509 yesterday, and the release notes didn’t mention an important change regarding default apps. Just like Windows 10, Windows 11 uses Microsoft Edge as the default browser, but the new OS has made it much more complicated to set another default browser.
Currently, changing the default browser on Windows 11 is a convoluted process that requires users to change every file type or link type in a long list (.htm, .html, etc.) so it has your browser of choice instead of Microsoft Edge. However, as spotted by Rafael Rivera on Twitter, the Windows 11 build 22509 has added a new option for setting a browser as the default browser in the Default apps section of the Settings app.
When you choose a different browser in the Default Apps section of the Settings app, you can now set it as default in one click by clicking on the dedicated button at the top. This will change the default app for opening .htm, .html, .xml, http, and https file types and link types, but the rest including PDFs will remain unchanged (Microsoft Edge is the default PDF reader on Windows 11).
Overall, this is a welcome change as the current process for changing default browsers on Windows 11 is definitely a regression compared to Windows 10. Windows 11 users (and Insiders) have been pretty vocal about this in recent months, and it’s good to see that the Windows Insider team has been paying attention. Now, could the new Windows 11 Widgets also respect our default browser settings, please?