How to Change Default Browser in Windows 11

Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 11. If you don’t want to use it, follow these steps to change the default browser in Windows 11.

Compared to older versions, Windows 11 has a lot of improvements. Some notable enhancements include but are not limited to a consistent design, improved stability, redesigned apps, the new Settings app, new applications, and more.

With Windows 11, the operating system’s general usability improved a lot. For the most part, the community welcomed Windows 11 positively.

However, if there is one thing that Microsoft messed up is the way to change default apps in Windows 11’s initial versions. Generally, Windows always allowed applications to set them as default for specific file types and protocols. However, that is no longer possible in Windows 11. At least, the process is not as seamless as it is in older versions, like in Windows 7 or 8. The same is true to change the default browser in Windows 11.

However, after much criticism from users and the industry, Microsoft changed the cumbersome way. Now, it is easy to change the default browser in Windows 11. Let me show you how to do it.

Table of contents:

What is the default browser in Windows 11?

As you would expect, Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 11. Unlike the older browsers like Internet Explorer, the new Edge browser is pretty good.

Edge can go toe to toe with Google Chrome in any feature and compatibility. For laptops, the Edge browser gives better battery life and runs smoother thanks to Windows-specific optimizations compared to other browsers. Not to mention, Microsoft is constantly improving and adding new features to the Edge browser to make it efficient and feature-rich.

Why change the default browser in Windows 11?

As good as the Edge browser is, there are many reasons to change the default browser in Windows 11. For example, maybe you don’t like the Edge browser, are too used to the browser you are already using, have website compatibility issues, are dependent on an exclusive extension or add-on, and more.

Unlike the older versions, Microsoft made it hard to set a default browser in Windows 11. This is the one thing that I don’t like in Windows 11. However, you can still change default apps. It’s just that the process is no longer user-friendly or easy. That is where this easy guide comes into play.

So, without delay, let me show you how to change the default browser in Windows 11.

Important note: Before following the below steps, ensure the browser you want to set as default is installed in Windows 11. For example, to set Google Chrome as the default browser in Windows 11, you must first install Google Chrome. Otherwise, you will not see it in the apps list.

Change the default browser in Windows 11

In recent Windows 11 versions, Microsoft brought back the easy way to change the default browser. Clicking a button will do the job—no need to change on a file type basis. Let me show you how.

  1. Launch the Settings app with “Win + I.”
  2. Choose “Apps” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on the “Default Apps” option.
  4. Find and click the browser of your choice in the app list.
  5. Press the “Set default” button at the top.
  6. The default browser is changed as soon as you do that.
change default browser in Windows 11

Use file type settings to change the default browser

You can change the default browser in Windows 11 using the Settings app. For example, you can set Google Chrome as the default browser instead of Microsoft Edge. I’m saying Google Chrome, but you can choose any browser like Firefox, Brave, etc. The steps are the same.

  1. Press the “Windows key + I” shortcut to open Settings.
  2. Select “Apps” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on “Default Apps.”
  4. Find and click on the browser application.
  5. Click on the “.htm” option.
  6. Select the browser from the list.
  7. Click “Ok.”
  8. Do the same thing for “.html,” “HTTP,” and “HTTPS” options.
  9. Close the Settings app.
  10. With that, you have changed the default browser in Windows 11.

Steps with a bit more detail:

Step 1: From the Start menu, open the Settings app. You can search for it or press the “Windows key + I” shortcut. You can also right-click on the start menu and choose the “Settings” option.

Step 2: Go to the “Apps > Default Apps” page after opening the Settings app. As you can tell from the page name, this is where you can manage all the default app settings in Windows 11. The good thing is that you can manage default settings on a per-app basis.

Step 3: Once you are here, find and click on the browser you want to set as default. You can use the search bar under the “Set defaults for application” heading. I chose to set Google Chrome as the default browser.

Step 4: Here, click on the “.htm” option, choose your browser, and click the “Ok” button to save changes. I chose Google Chrome. Select the browser of your choice. As I said earlier, Microsoft made it hard to change the default browser. So, we need to change at least three more settings.

Step 5: Click the “.html” option, choose your browser, and click the “Ok” button to save changes.

Step 6: Scroll down and click on the “HTTP” option. Next, choose your browser and click the “Ok” button to save changes.

Step 7: Click on the “HTTPS” option. Next, choose your browser and click the “Ok” button to save changes.

Step 8: (Optional) You can do the same for other protocols like PDF, FTP, SVG, SHTML, etc. For example, if you want PDF documents to open directly in Google Chrome, you need to click on the PDF option and choose Google Chrome. The same is true for other protocols.

Step 9: Once you are done, close the Settings app. To verify, click on any web link or .html file. It should open in the new default browser. Alternatively, you can open your browser’s settings page to see if it is configured as the default browser. In the case of Google Chrome, go to the “chrome://settings/defaultBrowser” page. You should see the “Google Chrome is your default browser” message.

With that, you have successfully changed the default browser in Windows 11.

I cannot see my browser in Windows 11 apps list

If you cannot see your favorite browser on the “Settings > Apps > Default Apps” page, it is possible that you haven’t installed it in the first place.

To verify, try searching for the browser in the Start menu. Alternatively, open the Settings app, go to the “Apps > Apps & features” page and see if you can find the browser in the list of installed applications.

If you cannot, I recommend you download and install the browser. After that, follow the above steps to change the default browser in Windows 11.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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