How to Change Default Browser in Windows 11
Windows 11, just like Windows 10 before it, comes with Microsoft’s own Edge browser. The latest versions of Edge are based on the Chromium project, and thanks to this, it has become an excellent browser overall. Moreover, it has unique features, such as collections, smart web selection, etc. But as good as that might be, Microsoft Edge isn’t for everyone, and you might want to change the default browser on Windows 11. If you’re wondering how to do that, we’re here to help.
Microsoft initially made it very difficult to change the default browser on Windows 11, but luckily things have improved a bit with recent updates. For this reason, one of the first things you might want to do is update your PC.
Install the latest updates on your PC
We’ve talked about this before, but when Windows 11 first came out, it was much harder to change some default apps, especially the browser. For a browser, for example, you must choose the default application for each protocol or file association. However, Microsoft has released cumulative updates over the past few months, and with them, switching browsers has become easier. As such, the first thing we recommend you do, if you haven’t already, is make sure you’re running the latest version of Windows 11.
Specifically, you’re going to want to be on Windows 111 construction number 22000.593 or more. If you want to know which version you have installed right now, you can head to the Settings app and from the home page scroll down to On. Click this option and expand the information under Windows Information to see your build number.
If you don’t have this version yet, make sure you are connected to the Internet, go to Windows Update section in the side menu of the Settings app. Then click Check for updates and wait for the updates to download and install.
If there are no updates, that means you’re good to go, so we can move on to the next step. If you have installed updates, you will need to restart your PC. It is always recommended to keep your PC updated, even if you don’t care about your default browser, as these updates help increase security and reliability.
Change default browser on Windows 11
Once you’ve made sure you’re using the latest version of Windows 11, you can change your default browser relatively easily. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Settings app, then go to apps section and choose Default apps.
- Scroll through the list of apps to find the browser you want to use, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or whatever your preference is. You must already have the browser installed on your PC. You can search the Internet for your favorite browser to download and install (or use the links above). In this case, we are using Vivaldi by default.
- Instead of manually opening the Settings app, you can also launch your favorite browser, which will likely prompt you to set it as default. This should take you to the same page.
- At the top of this page you will see a button with the option to set the current application as the default browser. This will set all standard web protocols to open in your browser of choice.
- You’ll see all the required associations change for your new browser, which means you’re good to go. You can now close the Settings app.
Note that this will not change the browser that opens if you click a link in the Widgets panel or search the web using Windows Search. These links are designed to always open in Microsoft Edge, regardless of your default browser. You’ll need to use a third-party application such as MSEdgeRedirect to get around this limitation, but it’s always possible that Microsoft will find a way to prevent it from working.
If you choose not to install the latest updates for Windows 11, or if you want specific protocols or files to open in different browsers, you can use the options on the same page to change the default associations. The protocols related to web browsing are mainly HTTP and HTTPS, so you can scroll down to find them and choose the browser you want to open them with.
You can also change the associations for HTM and HTML files (those are at the top of the list), or even PDF files if you want to use your browser to open them. Microsoft Edge actually has a good PDF viewer, so you can keep it as the default option even if you switch browsers.
And that’s about all you need to know about changing your default browser on Windows 11. If you’re also interested in a new browser for your phone, maybe check out the best browsers for Android. And if you’re using a Chromium-based browser like Chrome, Vivaldi, or Edge, you can also check out the best browser extensions for Chrome to make the most of your time on the web.