The latest version of Microsoft Edge is really good and is better than browsers like Google Chrome, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will start using it on Chrome or Firefox. You can easily change your default browser in Windows 10 or even Windows 11, but features like Windows Search or Windows Widget will completely ignore your third-party preferences.
Right now, if you change your default browser to Chrome or Firefox and try to open links from native apps, the link will likely open in Edge. This is because certain Windows features use a “microsoft-edge:” URL prefix to redirect the operating system to open the link in Microsoft Edge, even if you have Firefox / Chrome set as the default.
This applies to functions such as Windows Widgets, Windows Search, Microsoft Store, or some other native applications within the operating system. Some users and reviewers find this experience jarring and can be particularly annoying if their default preference is ignored when opening certain links.
Fortunately, a third-party application called “EdgeDeflector” allows users to open links in their default browser instead of Microsoft Edge. Bypass Microsoft’s internal settings and redirect Windows links to open in Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser.
For example, if you open the Windows widget and click on a news item, the link will open in your regular browser.
Microsoft Removes Windows 11 Edge Workaround
Microsoft appears to be getting aggressive with its Edge policy and has taken steps to force the browser in Windows 11 for certain tasks, whether users like it or not.
Since the release of Windows 11 KB5008215 (Build 22000.376), it is no longer possible to open links in a third-party browser of your choice. The operating system has been modified to block the methods used by applications like EdgeDeflector.
This move might annoy some users, as many of them use Google Chrome or a third-party browser as their default browser.
In a statement, Microsoft officials highlighted the release notes for the November 2021 optional cumulative updates. According to the release notes, Microsoft has fixed an issue where the operating system could be incorrectly redirected when “microsoft-edge : links are invoked “.
“Addresses an issue that could incorrectly redirect operating system functionality when microsoft-edge bindings are invoked:” the change log reads.
As expected, this change is now also included in the security or mandatory update for Windows 11. This is because the Patch Tuesday update includes all fixes from the previous security and optional updates.
It is important to understand that the tech giant will not force open all web links in Microsoft Edge. This change only affects certain links within your own products.