How to change the default browser in Windows 11

Ever since they created Edge, Microsoft has been trying to convince people to use it. The company pulled all the tricks it could think of to make us sway into switching to Microsoft Edge. It tried sending users messages in Windows 10 when they attempted to change their default web browser, but they never made it so unfriendly to set another default browser as they did in Windows 11. In this operating system, you can no longer simply click on a setting to instantly change your default browser. Instead, you need to set the default browser by changing the default app by file type or link type. Unfortunately, even if you do that, Microsoft Edge is still used by Windows 11 to open links from Widgets or searches. But there are ways to change the default browser in Windows 11 even if Microsoft doesn’t want you to, and in this article, we’re showing them to you:

How to change the default browser in Windows 11 to Chrome (or any other web browser)

To set the default web browser in Windows 11, first, you need to open the Settings app, and a quick way to do that is to press Windows + I on your keyboard simultaneously. Then, in Settings, select Apps on the left sidebar, and click or tap on Default apps in the window’s right pane.

Opening Default apps in Windows 11's Settings

This opens the Default apps page from the Settings app. Here, you’re going to have to find the web browser you want to set as default. To do that, look for the “Set defaults for applications” section and, in its search field, type the name of that web browser. For instance, if you want to set Google Chrome as your default Windows 11 browser, type chrome. Then, click or tap on the appropriate search result.

Searching for the web browser to set as default

Alternatively, you could also just scroll through the list of applications until you find Google Chrome or any other web browser you want to set as default. Then, when you see it, click or tap on it.

Scrolling through the app list to find Google Chrome

Either way, you should now see a list of file types and link types that you can set the web browser to open by default. For each file type or link type, you also get to see the app that’s currently set as default. Scroll down the list to locate the HTTP or HTTPS entry, which, as you can see in the next screenshot, are set by default to open with Microsoft Edge.

The HTTP and HTTPS entries from a browser's Settings page

To change the default Windows 11 web browser, click or tap on the HTTP or HTTPS entry: either one is OK.

Opening the HTTP entry on a browser's Settings page

That makes Windows 11 show you a dialog asking you “How do you want to open this?”. Then, it gives you at least a few options to choose from, depending on the number of web browsers you have installed on your computer or device.

Click or tap on the browser you want to set as default, and then press OK. For example, if you want to change the default browser to Chrome, select Chrome and press OK.

Selecting the new default web browser in Windows 11

Next, Windows 11 closes the dialog box and brings you back to the selected browser page from Settings. Here, you can see that the change was made, and the new browser is the default one now. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you chose to use HTTP or HTTPS: both are configured at the same time. When you modify the settings for one entry, the other changes too, automatically.

The chosen web browser is set as default

That’s it! Now you have a new default browser in Windows 11, so all websites should open in it from now on. However, you might also want to make the same changes for other file types and link types. Just follow the same procedure to set Chrome (or any other browser) as default for opening FTP connections, HTML documents, etc.

How to change the default browser used by Windows 11 for Search and Widgets

Although you’ve now changed the default browser on your Windows 11, the operating system is made by Microsoft in such a way that it doesn’t respect your changes for its search feature or the Widgets window. What does that mean in simpler words? When you click or tap on a link from the Windows 11 Search box or from any of the Widgets, the operating system opens them in Microsoft Edge no matter what.

The Widgets from Windows 11

Fortunately, there is a way to circumvent this issue, using a free tool called EdgeDeflector which can redirect web searches to your default web browser, even if Windows 11 wants to open them in Microsoft Edge. Here’s how to do it:

Use any browser you want to visit this GitHub page: EdgeDeflector. On it, go to the Latest release section and click or tap on the EdgeDeflector_install.exe link.

Downloading EdgeDeflector from GitHub

This triggers the download of a small executable file called EdgeDeflector_Install.exe. Save it anywhere you want on your Windows 11 PC. Then, double-click or double-tap on the EdgeDeflector_Install.exe file to launch it. Follow the steps of the installation wizard and allow it to install on your Windows 11 PC.

Installing EdgeDeflector on a Windows 11 PC

After you’ve installed EdgeDeflector, open the Settings app (Windows + I) and head to the same Default apps page we’ve gone to in the first section of this tutorial. There, search for edgedeflector and click or tap on it.

Searching for EdgeDeflector in the Settings' Default apps

On the EdgeDeflector page, there should be only one entry: Microsoft-Edge. Click or tap on it.

Opening the Microsoft Edge entry from EdgeDeflector file and link type associations

Next, Windows 11 shows the “How do you want to open this?” dialog box. In it, select EdgeDeflector, and then click or tap on OK.

Setting EdgeDeflector as default

And you’re done! You can now close the Settings app and try clicking on any link from Windows 11’s Widgets or any link from any Windows 11 Search result, and they will open in your default web browser.

Did you change your default Windows 11 web browser?

Now you know how to change the default web browser on a Windows 11 computer or device. Before you go, we are curious to find out: what browser did you set as default, and why? Do you prefer Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or another browser? Let us know in the comments section below.

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