Windows 11 forces Microsoft’s browser on more users by blocking Edge workaround

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Microsoft has replaced Windows 11 in the recently released Preview builds, blocking a workaround that was ensuring that some links being opened in Edge were rendered in the user’s default browser (as that they really should be).

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As you probably know, there are instances in Microsoft’s desktop OS where even if you’re running with Chrome, Firefox or any other option as your default app for browsing, links will still be opened in Edge, when They will be clicked on some Microsoft apps. This is due to the use of a proprietary Microsoft Edge protocol, which is normally ‘microsoft-edge://’ (which forces opening in Edge) instead of ‘https://’.

An obvious example that comes to mind is the ‘News & Interests’ widget on the taskbar, which presents various news, sports, weather and other articles, all of which will open in Edge, regardless of your default setting for the web browser. Yes windows.

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This is where third party apps like Danielle Alexandersen’s Edge Deflector come in, because at the moment, they can take these ‘microsoft-edge://’ links and automatically convert them to normal (‘https://’) can switch on. Open in your specified default browser.

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However, as Alexanderson points out in a post on his Ctrl.Blog, with Windows 11 Preview Build 22494 (released in early November) Microsoft has changed things so that it is impossible to set Microsoft Edge as a protocol handler . ‘microsoft-edge://’ link. In short, these links may not be redirected at all as of this build.

It also means that browsers such as Firefox or Brave, which were implementing their own versions of such protocol redirection, would be unable to do so, leaving Edge the only route to open these links from Microsoft’s own apps and services. will be left as


Analysis: On the edge of annoyance (once again)?

Clearly, it’s Microsoft throwing its weight around to make sure Edge keeps popping up for those using its own apps or features like news and interests — and a subtle way of reminding people that That’s the way Edge exists, and they should consider switching (various popups do this regularly for Windows users, as we’ve seen in the past – this kind of behavior is nothing new).

Of course, there’s no reason to make this change other than to push Edge’s reach. And it also leads to the strange situation where even if you completely remove Edge from your system, these links will still try to open in a non-existent browser.

Alexanderson explains: “Windows will insist you use Microsoft Edge even if you brutalize your Windows installation and erase all traces of Microsoft Edge. Windows will open a blank UWP window and prompt you to use your favorite web browser. will show an error message instead of giving.”

Hopefully, this new drastic measure is something Microsoft will reconsider, but looking at past history, we wouldn’t count on it.

Perhaps the real shame is that Edge really stands out entirely on its own as a good product, and those bases must be left to make a name for itself over time. Such measures – and the increased use of various popups or advertisements – are likely to interfere negatively with the potential adoption of the end browser.

Microsoft knows all too well the danger of pushing too much with its products – just remember that debacle encouraging So let’s hope for the best in terms of browser freedom in Windows – to offer users a free upgrade to Windows 10. Keep in mind at this point, this is just a change that is under test (so Windows Insider, let your feelings know if they are strong).

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