Microsoft admits making it difficult to switch browsers in Windows

Web Browsers

Playing sneaky, are we? Microsoft has admitted that it has purposefully made it difficult to switch web browsers in Windows. And, in fact, the company is referring to this as a fix.

As in, the way things are and were meant to be!

Quite a bit of hoopla was caused over the weekend, after it emerged that Redmond had blocked a certain method that was being used by third-parties and alternate web browser makers to quickly change the default browser in Windows 11 from Edge to any one of their choice.

Microsoft implemented a block for this trickery in build 22494 that was made available in the Dev channel of its Windows preview program.

This was a change that impacted hundreds of thousands of users.

And as things stand, may impact hundreds of millions more!

That’s because Microsoft has admitted that it is doing this on purpose. A company spokesperson emphasized this change in an interview with The Verge, saying in clear terms that:

“Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers. At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected. When we become aware of improper redirection, we issue a fix.”


This three-letter word implies that the software titan aims to stands its ground on this position, and could very well be on the lookout to block further attempts at what it labels improper redirection.

While the move is, obviously, upsetting for developers, who are yet to find reliable workarounds for it, it will also have a massive impact on consumers who will not be able to completely and easily switch away from Edge once the block comes into effect.

Sure, a block like this will make it more difficult for malicious actors to hijack your browsing experience, but the ultimate choice of using a web browser should always rest with the user.

Any thoughts here?