While the overhauled UI in Windows 11 is eliciting a mixed response, the removal of a myriad of features is enraging many Windows users. First, we learned that the Refresh button is missing and hidden within the context menu in Windows 11. And now, even a basic task, like setting the default app, has also become more confusing than ever. So if you are wondering how you can set the default browser in Windows 11, we have got you covered. Follow this step-by-step guide to change your default browser in Windows 11.
Change Default Browser in Windows 11 (2021)
Windows 11 may have brought along some interesting new features, but it has also made many things unnecessarily convoluted for reasons best known to Microsoft. The ability to set a default app seems to be one of those areas that are now way more complicated than it ever was in earlier versions of the OS. But fear not, check out this tutorial to learn how you change the default browser in Windows 11.
Note: This tutorial is meant for the official preview version of Windows 11 that rolled out in June 2021 through the Insider channel. The methods described here may or may not hold true for the final RC/ RTM versions of the OS.
Install a Third-party Web Browser of Your Choice
Microsoft Edge is the default web browser in Windows 11. The first step towards changing that would be to install a browser of your choice. There are a plethora of high-quality third-party browsers available on Windows, including Chrome (Free), Firefox (Free), Opera (Free), and many more.
Any browser that’s compatible with Windows 10 is also compatible with Windows 11. So install the web browser of your choice and follow the guide below to change the default browser in Windows 11.
Note: We are using Google Chrome for demo purposes here. The process will remain identical for Firefox, Opera, or any other browser. If you do not like Google Chrome because of all the privacy implications, check out the best Chrome alternatives you can use on Windows.
Steps to Set the Default Browser in Windows 11
- First off, open Settings (use Windows keyboard shortcut Win + I) and go to the “Apps” tab from on the left pane. Then, click on “Default apps” from the right pane.
Note: You can also click on the “Make Default” button within Chrome (or Firefox) settings to directly get to the Default apps page in Windows 11.
- Now, in the “Search Apps” field, input the name of the app that is currently the default browser on your Windows 11 PC. In my case, it is Mozilla Firefox, but if you are unsure, it is likely to be Microsoft Edge.
Note: The default browser in Windows 11 is Edge Chromium, so you need to search for Microsoft Edge here if you have clean installed the OS. If you have upgraded from an existing Windows 10 installation, your default settings have carried over, so you need to search for your default browser app in Windows 10.
- You will now be presented with a list of extensions and file types, including .html, .svg, .pdf, .php, and more, for which Firefox is the default app. Click on the extensions one at a time and use the pop-up menu to change the default to the browser you want to use in Windows 11.
- Once you change the default browser for all extensions, restart your Windows 11 PC. Chrome will now be the default app to open all those extensions and file types, making it the default web browser on your Windows 11 installation.
Note: In my experience, the process of changing the default browser in Windows 11 is not only unnecessarily long-drawn but also extremely buggy. You have to try the same steps multiple times for the changeover to work as expected. That’s especially true when you try to revert your changes and get back to your original settings.
Change Default Browser From Microsoft Edge to Google Chrome in Windows 11
The lack of a one-click option to set a default browser in Windows 11 is annoying. We hope Microsoft will rectify that in the final RTM version of the OS, set to release later this year. You can check out when your PC will get the Windows 11 update right here. With that said, you now know how to change the default browser in Windows 11. Even though the process is tedious, you will hopefully be able to use your browser of choice instead of being forced to use Microsoft’s default option.
If you are looking to undo some of the other Windows 11 changes no one asked for, check out how you can switch back to a Windows 10-style Start Menu design. If even that doesn’t impress you, learn how to downgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 11. On the other hand, if you are perfectly happy with Microsoft Edge and want to keep using it, check out how to enable Efficiency Mode in Microsoft Edge to improve battery life.