Microsoft is blocking users from circumventing Edge browser links in Win 11

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Windows 11 is definitely still here and has been making big waves, both good and bad, since its October 5th launch. A few days to shut us down there was a bug, as well as expired certificate issues, not to mention that it needed to be optimized for the best gaming experience. Now Windows 11 users have discovered that Microsoft has even more dirty tricks up its sleeve.

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According to Daniel Aleksandrson, creator of Edge Deflector Ctrl.blogThe change in protocol and file associations with respect to default apps in the latest build of Windows 11 comes with a very attractive flow-through effect. This prevents users from broadcasting annoying Microsoft proprietary links.

Many links baked into Microsoft apps, including Windows 10 and 11, force the use of a browser included with a proprietary Microsoft Edge protocol. Things like the new news weather widget in Windows are absolutely to blame. This is why you can see links open in Edge despite never using it or even having another set as your default Internet overview method. Edge certainly begs this opportunity to make it the default once again, which can easily confuse less savvy users that this is an essential selection.

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Many users who care enough get this annoyance with apps like alexanderson freely offered edgedeflector, The whole job of this app is to convert those links back to regular https ones that will open in your default browser of choice. It’s a great solution to an infuriating problem that no one should have. So much so that competing browsers like Brave and Firefox were planning to have this feature baked in.

Therefore, it is not too surprising that new updates and builds of Windows 11 have replaced this functionality. As Alexanderson points out, with the new protocol settings, users can’t even set a preferred default browser. Instead specific link associations have to be set up for various protocols, even native ones such as https. For some reason the Microsoft Edge protocol cannot be set to anything other than Microsoft Edge.

That being said, whether users are making choices intentionally or not, Microsoft Edge is seeing a boon in popularity this year. It has started working ever since Microsoft decided to leave Internet Explorer and the old Edge to be a Chromium based browser. It’s just things like this that amaze me how many people are choosing that option, rather than being tricked into it.

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