If you’re using Windows 11, and you’re using the browser that came with your computer (as opposed to downloading one yourself), it can be quite annoying to be forced to open links in your default browser when you click on them in another program. Luckily, there’s an easy fix that only takes a few minutes to complete! Here’s how to change the default browser in Windows 11.
Step 1: Open Control Panel
The first step is to open the Control Panel. To do this, you can either type Control Panel into the search bar or press the Windows key + R and type control panel into the Run dialog box. Once you’re in the Control Panel, look for the Default Programs icon and click on it. It will bring up a list of programs that are set as your defaults. From here, scroll down until you find Set your web browser (Internet Explorer) and select it. On the next screen, there will be a list of browsers that are installed on your computer from which you can choose from (Chrome and Firefox should be among them).
Select one and hit Set this program as default; then close out of all windows to save your changes. If you want to remove Chrome or Firefox from being your default browser, repeat these steps but select Change Program Defaults instead of Set Your Web Browser (Internet Explorer) on the previous screen. For Chrome users, you’ll need to go back through these steps every time you install a new version- since Google Chrome automatically sets itself as the default browser when it’s downloaded and installed.
Step 2: Open Default Programs
Default Programs is an app that comes with Windows that lets you set your default programs. You can open it by clicking the Start button and then searching for it by typing default programs into the search box. Once you’ve opened Default Programs, click on the program you want to use as your default and then click Set this program as default. If there are multiple browsers installed on your computer, you’ll see a list of them under Choose a category where you’ll find other settings related to the specific type of application (e.g., Web browsers).
To change which browser opens when you click on a link from another application, select Internet Explorer or Edge from the drop-down menu at the top of the window. Then click Set this program as default to finish changing your settings.
Step 3: Manage Set Program Access and Computer Defaults
The Set Program Access and Computer Defaults screen allows you to manage which programs are set as the defaults for various tasks on your computer. You can also use this screen to set your computer’s default web browser. To do so, click Web browser from the left-hand column of options. From the drop-down menu, select a new program to be used as your default web browser by clicking on it.
If you have multiple browsers installed, they will all appear here; simply click on one of them to make it your new default program. Then click OK. You’ll see a confirmation dialog box asking if you want to really make the change. Click Yes, then restart your computer. Once it has restarted, open up a webpage in Internet Explorer (or whatever browser you just changed) and confirm that it is now the default program.
Step 4: Change your default browser settings
- Select the Start button, then select Settings > Apps > Default apps.
- Under Web browser, select the browser you want to use as your default from the menu. If you don’t see your preferred browser listed, select Microsoft Edge from the menu first, then follow the instructions on the screen to set your preferred browser as default.
- Close Settings. Your new settings will apply across all supported browsers installed on your device. Now when you launch a web page or open a link from an email or other app, it will open in your new default browser.
Your old defaults are still available too! You can always switch back to them at any time by selecting them again under Web Browser at the top of this page. You can also delete the browser and restore its defaults from here if you like. Just click on Restore Defaults next to your chosen browser and that’s it.