Microsoft has confirmed that the inability to open internet links from Windows with a browser other than Edge is a deliberate choice and that in future versions of the operating system software solutions that circumvent this obligation will be put in the wheel.
Edge makes life difficult for other browsers
That of the difficult coexistence between Edge and third-party browsers is a story that has been going on for a while, since Windows 10.
Also in Windows 11, to set a browser other than Edge as the default it is necessary to go to the system settings menu and a simple click in the appropriate option of the chosen browser is not enough.
Some browsers, such as Firefox from version 91, have managed to bypass this extra step and allow you to become a system browser with just one click. But up to a certain point.
Firefox has discovered how to bypass Windows 10 locks. It can become your default browser with just one click
Go to the deepening
Despite having a third-party browser as a default, Edge still opens if you click the links coming from the search bar of Windows 10 and 11 and, starting from Windows 11, also from the new Widgets panel that perhaps refer to news.
To overcome this obstacle, an app has been developed for four years by programmer Daniel Aleksandersen called EdgeDeflector which allows you to avoid this forced hijacking and open the default browser chosen by the user.
In new builds of Windows 11 distributed to OS Insiders, these workarounds have been blocked, effectively canceling the EdgeDeflector function.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge: “Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers“ma”at the same time, Windows also offers some end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not is designed to be redirected. When we become aware of an improper redirect, we will fix it.”
The developer of EdgeDeflector replied: “These are not the actions of a careful company that cares about its product. They are prioritizing ads, bundleware, and service subscriptions over their users’ productivity.”
Firefox behaves differently when installing from the Microsoft Store
Furthermore, the solution used by Firefox to make itself the default browser with one click could also be at risk. The function is still active in the program that you download from the Mozilla site, but if Firefox is downloaded from the Microsoft Store, that possibility is denied.
We tested it and in fact the version of Firefox from the Microsoft Store, although the same as the one obtainable directly from Mozilla, shows the words “MSIX package” and “mozilla-MSIX – 1.0” which are missing in the “pure” version of Firefox .
If we try to set the Firefox downloaded from the Microsoft Store as the default browser, Windows 11 opens its settings panel in which the choice of the system browser is far from simple, since it must be configured for each type of file.