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News hardware & software 12 November 2021, 15:48

author: Arkadiusz Strzala

Windows 11 Will Force Us to Use Edge

Microsoft doesn't make life easy for alternative browser enthusiasts. Ever since the last update, Windows 11 pushes for opening of certain links in Edge, even if we have another default program set.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  • Updated Windows 11 blocks the ability to open links in the microsoft-edge:// protocol outside the Edge browser.

Changing the default browser in Windows 11 is not a simple task. It requires setting it up to be invoked separately for each protocol associated with the Internet. And even then, some links will still open in Edge. While there are ways to do this, they stopped working after the recent update. Microsoft is pushing its browser more and more effectively in the latest versions of the system.

Even if we set a browser other than Edge as the default browser , it's still Microsoft's program that will open links from the Help window, Messages panel and Widgets in Windows 11. This is thanks to the introduction of a custom protocol called microsoft-edge://, which tells the system to skip user preferences. This has been in place since Windows 10, but has become much more intrusive in the newer generation.

To counteract the Edge protocol exploit, a small program called EdgeDeflector was created. It redirects links with this protocol to the browser set as default by the user. However, it turns out that the application becomes useless in Windows 11 version number 22494. After the update, the only program that can handle the microsoft-edge:// protocol is Edge.

This is implemented so permanently that even removing the system browser does not open this type of links in any other way, but only displays an error. Well, if something is good, why would anyone use something else - that's what Microsoft seems to think. Now we just have to wait for an antitrust lawsuit from the European Union.

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