Due to recent security incidents in the past few years, Microsoft is working on security as well as support for Windows 11 marketing strategy. That reaction probably becomes a step back because it turns out to be even harder to switch default browsers and ignores browser defaults. Mozilla appears to be impatient with this experience, they set a one-click process to switch to Firefox on Windows in an easier way. This update against Microsoft’s envisioned policy as it isn’t officially available for anyone other than Microsoft.
Recently, Microsoft has changed the way you set default apps. In Windows 10, there’s a prompt that appears to tell you to install a new browser and open a web link for the first time. It’s the one and only chance to easily switch browsers, though. If you do not tick “always use this app,” the default will never be changed. This simple launch allows you to quickly and easily switch default email, maps, music, photos, videos, and web browser apps. It’s incredibly easy to forget to toggle the “always use this app” option, and simply launch the browser you want from this prompt and never see this default choice again when you click web links. Compared to Windows 10, Windows 11 seems pesky with an unnecessarily long process requiring users to install the default app for each file type related to that app.
It appears that Microsoft made setting default internet browsers in Windows 11 a lot harder than it needs to be. The process is not friendly for users to deal with the hurdles Microsoft introduced. Needless to say other competitors aren’t impressed with Microsoft’s changes to Windows 11 here. In the past, Mozilla used to convince Microsoft to improve its default browser settings in Windows but nothing has changed. Far more than that, Windows 11 is now making it even harder to switch default browsers. To help users run on Window 11 without inhibition, Mozilla is implementing its changes in Firefox in a rush.
Although Microsoft gives out a way to switch default browsers on Windows 10, it’s more complicated than a simple one-click process to switch to Edge. Mozilla has quietly made it easier to switch to Firefox on Windows recently, without any further user interaction.
Microsoft has some genuine security-related reasons to protect against malware with anti-hijacking. “With Windows 11, we are implementing customer feedback to customize and control defaults at a more granular level, eliminating app categories and elevating all apps to the forefront of the defaults experience,” a Microsoft spokesperson told the blog.
By reverse-engineering this technology, Mozilla may accidently provide less innocent program opportunities. “Since Windows 10, users have had to take additional and unnecessary steps to set and retain their default browser settings. These barriers are confusing at best and seem designed to undermine a user’s choice for a non-Microsoft browser.” says Selena Deckelmann, senior vice president of Firefox, in a statement to The Verge.
Up to now, Google, Vivaldi, Opera and other Chromium-based browsers haven’t taken a lead from Mozilla but in future, they might. Microsoft may be forced to roll back its improvements under too much pressure.