Windows 11 update forces users to Edge, regardless of their default browser

An upcoming Windows 11 update will block third-party apps from allowing users to choose which browser and which search engine Start menu searches open in, according to The edge. Start menu searches open in the Edge browser with results from Bing, regardless of the user’s designated default browser and search engine.

Why we worry. Bypassing user-assigned defaults to open search results in Edge and Bing forces more users to Microsoft-owned channels. This gives Microsoft more options to show ads to these users, even though Edge and Bing are not their default choices. This can, a little, and a little artificially, add more value to some of Microsoft’s advertising products, while empowering users to try out their browser and search engine (albeit in a limited sense), which may increase usage in the long run.

EdgeDeflector was released in 2017, but only recently has Microsoft taken action against it and similar apps that allow users to specify which browser its start menu search results open in. ” [500 thousand] EdgeDeflector users have probably never been more than a nuisance to Microsoft, “said Daniel Aleksandersen, developer of EdgeDeflector, in a blog post,” Last month, however, both Brave and Firefox web browsers either copied EdgeDeflector’s functionality or signaled that it was on the roadmap … That news probably got Microsoft to sit up and pay attention. “At the time of release, Firefox had about 218 million monthly active desktop users.

Can only search results in the start menu. Regardless of the user’s default browser selection, Microsoft Edge and Bing launch when they display search results performed from the Windows 10 and Windows 11 Start menus. In Windows 11, Widgets panel searches also open only in Edge and Bing.

EdgeDeflector and similar third-party apps offered a way to overcome this limitation, allowing users to open the Start menu search results in the browser of their choice. However, Microsoft has confirmed that an update, which is scheduled to roll out in the coming weeks, will put an end to these solutions. “Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the taskbar search experience is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected,” a spokesman for Microsoft. said in a statement to The Verge, “When we become aware of incorrect redirection, we issue a correction.”

Firefox planned its own solution. “We have been working on code that launches Firefox when the Microsoft Edge protocol is used for those users who have already selected Firefox as their default browser,” a Mozilla spokesman said in a statement to The edge, “Following the recent modification of Windows 11, this planned deployment will no longer be possible.”

It’s also harder to change the default browser than it used to be. Windows 11 introduced a new workflow for changing the default browser: Users can still select “Always use this app” in the prompt that appears when they first start a browser, but if they do not, they will need to take further steps and assign a default browser for each file or link type (HTM, HTML, PDF, HTTP, HTTPs, etc.). This process takes longer than it did on Windows 10, where users could switch standard applications for web browsing, email, photos, videos, and so on without digging into file formats or link types.

In addition, Mozilla has added an option to set Firefox as the default browser with a single click. This option is only available in the version of Firefox that can be downloaded from the web – it is missing in the version of Firefox in the Microsoft Store, where Microsoft has limited this feature to its own Edge browser.


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George Nguyen is the editor of Search Engine Land, which covers organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is journalism and content marketing. Before entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, author, podcast host and elementary school teacher.

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