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Windows 11 Puts You in Control of Default Apps and Pinning

Some much-needed changes to default apps on Windows 11.

A desktop PC running Windows 11 with some RGB accessories.
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

Microsoft is slowly but surely improving the poor default app experience on Windows 11, giving users more control over the experience. While we’re all familiar with default apps that keep resetting, it looks like default apps and app pinning are about to be overhauled.

Last year the company made it easier to set a default browser. Still, Windows 11 users also want control over what apps get pinned to the taskbar, not to mention what app opens by default while playing music, videos, and other tasks.

Thankfully, the company recently laid out a new plan to make these options concise and easier to manage. Moving forward, it looks like apps can’t set themselves as a default, nor will these settings reset after updates.

Windows 11 default apps option.

In a blog post about app pinning and app defaults, the company said, “We want to ensure that people are in control of what gets pinned to their Desktop, their Start menu and their Taskbar as well as to be able to control their default applications such as their default browser through consistent, clear and trustworthy Windows provided system dialogs and settings.”

Microsoft mentions that in the coming months, a Windows Insider Dev preview will first roll out these changes, and hopefully, we can expect a global release to follow. So, what can users and developers expect?

It sounds like Microsoft plans to incorporate a new way for app developers to quickly give users the option to set a specific app as the default option or pin it to the taskbar. System dialogs will make this information clear and easy to understand.

More importantly, Microsoft mentioned that its apps would use the same system, delivering a consistent experience. Then, for app pinning, the team is working on a new API allowing apps to pin primary and secondary tiles to the Windows 11 taskbar. But again, only when the user makes these changes.

Essentially it looks like Microsoft wants Windows 11 to give users more control, similar to Android, where each person can manually choose default apps and pinning instead of the apps changing the setting automatically.

Source: Windows Blog

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »