Latest Windows 11 Insider Build Lets You Set Your Default Browser With One Click

Windows 11 on a touchscreen laptop.
mundissima/Shutterstock

Microsoft has spent the last few years chipping away at Windows’ default browser settings, forcing users to manually pick which URLs and file types (HTM, HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, PDF, etc) open in their browser of choice. That changes with the latest Windows 11 Insider build, which lets you set a default browser with a single click.

If you’re using Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22509 or later, you should now see a big Set Default button at the top of your Default Apps list. This button automatically makes Chrome, Firefox, or another application your default browser for all the URL and file types you’d expect a browser to open.

To edit your default apps in Windows 11, simply open your “Settings,” go to “Apps,” and select “Default Apps.” You can then select the browser you want to make default.

Default browser options in Windows 11.
Josh Hendrickson

Unfortunately, this change doesn’t make it easier to set other default apps. If you want VLC to open all video and music files, for example, you still need to manually choose each of its default file types in your Default Apps settings.

This change also has no effect on Microsoft’s custom URIs. Links that are embedded in Windows 11, such as the news widget or help buttons, will still open in Edge by default. Microsoft recently broke all the workarounds for this problem, so at the time of writing, you cannot set a default browser for Windows 11’s embedded links.

There’s no word on when this feature will reach regular Windows 11 users—Microsoft doesn’t even mention it in its latest Insider release notes! And while Microsoft is technically loosening its grip on users’ default browser settings, the company is now sending weird notifications like “that browser is so 2008” when users try to install Chrome. So I guess things aren’t all sunshine and roses.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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