Windows 11 is now restricting the popular program EdgeDeflector, which allows users to select other web browsers more easily.
The discovery was revealed in a new build of Windows 11 made available through the Insider Program, in which Microsoft is now prohibiting applications that circumvent specific restrictions to change web browsers within the operating system.
You may still change your default web browser to Chrome or Firefox, but as Windows users are aware, this will not work in every case. This is due to the “edge:/ protocol,” which is a way utilized by Microsoft within some Windows elements such as the News and Interest widgets.
Windows 11 has disabled an app that allows you to switch browsers to Google Chrome.
The protocol ensures that only URL links in its Edge browser are opened. It’s also included into Windows Search. Understandably, it’s been a contentious feature because it even bypasses a user’s default browser selection.
Developers have provided alternative tools, such as EdgeDeflector, that allow you to redirect URLs to your favorite browser, but Microsoft has rendered such workarounds obsolete with the latest Windows 11 update (build 22494), which is now available for Insiders.
EdgeDeflector’s developer has stated that Microsoft has effectively blocked his application, which has 500,000 users. The developer, Daniel Aleksandersen, argues in the blog post that “this isn’t a defect in the Windows Insider preview release.” Microsoft has changed the way Windows handles the microsoft-edge:/ protocol.”
He went on to say that while he could potentially give a way around Microsoft’s goal of rendering apps like EdgeDeflector useless, it would necessitate “destructive alterations” to Windows. The creator warned that the changes to the program’s code would cause a slew of problems for users. As a result, Aleksandersen has chosen to stop updating the app.
Your web browser is most likely the most important, if not the only, software you use on a regular basis.
Brave became the first online browser to include support for Microsoft’s URL scheme in October, delivering the same capabilities that EdgeDeflector does. Masatoshi Kimura, a Mozilla developer, has also created modifications to integrate the protocol into Firefox.
According to Aleksandersen, Microsoft’s move is an anticompetitive behavior that authorities “simply haven’t caught up with yet.”
“Your web browser is most likely the most important, if not the only, app you use on a regular basis.” Microsoft has stated unequivocally that its priorities for Windows do not correspond with those of its consumers.”
This update will only be implemented in future releases of Windows 11, therefore it is currently only a glimpse of what is to come.