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How to change the default browser on Windows 11

Change default browser Windows 11

Windows 11 seems set to facilitate many elements of the user experience, but that won’t include switching default browser.
It comes with the Microsoft Edge browser as the default browser. It is Chromium-based and many believe it to be better than Chrome.

In any case, you don’t want to use Edge, you can still install any other browser of your choice on Windows 11. Just that the process to set it as a default browser is a bit complicated and time-consuming than ever. But luckily, you only have to set it once.

Default browser on Windows 11

On Windows 10, it was simple to choose a third-party option within the ‘Default Apps’ section of Settings. Now Microsoft has changed the way you choose default apps within the Windows 11 Start Menu.

The good thing is Microsoft retains the option in which a prompt appears after a new browser is installed and you just have to enable the “Always use this app” checkbox. But that’s your only opportunity to use this method. If you happen to miss it, it is a bit of a hassle to change it afterwards.

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Change default browser on Windows 11

To switch the default browser, first install whichever browser app you like; Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. The process for any third-party browser you have installed is the same. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings with Win+I shortcut.

  2. Select ‘Apps’ from the left column, then go to ‘Default apps’.

  3. Scroll down through the list of already installed apps to find your browser of choice and select it.

  4. Select the file type from the list and click the options button.

  5. ‘Before you switch’ prompt will appear. Choose ‘Switch anyway’ to proceed to the next window.

  6. Opt for the browser of your liking and ensure it’s highlighted blue before clicking ‘OK’

  7. Repeat the process for all file types, protocols, and links that are integrated into a browser.

  8. For unallocated file types, click the Choose a default option. This will then permanently change the default settings.

Note: You do not need to change the default browser for all file types. Changing it for common internet file types and commands will be enough e.g. HTM, HTML, MailTo, HTTP, and HTTPS.

As you can see, this is more tricky compared to the process on Windows 10. Microsoft has motivated Windows users to switch to Edge often, since the Chromium version launched in January 2020. Nonetheless, its latest efforts are even more obvious.

Change the default browser using the search feature

You can also change the default browser for a particular file type by using the search feature in Settings.

  1. Open Settings with Win+I shortcut
  2. Select ‘Apps’ from the left column, then go to ‘Default apps’.
  3. In the search bar at the top, enter a file type like this: .html (make sure you enter the period before the file type).
  4. Select the browser/ app. From the pop-up, select the browser you want to use in its place. Click OK.

Note: you can use this method to change the default app for all types of files and apps.


Microsoft has motivated Windows users to switch to Edge often, since the Chromium version launched in January 2020. Nonetheless, its latest efforts are even more obvious. Users can choose to keep Edge as the default browser for certain file types and change it for others. The process is longer because there is no option to change everything with one click like there was on Windows 10.

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