Microsoft updates Windows 11 to ignore non-Edge browsers for certain shortcuts

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Microsoft is back to its old tricks, again. A new update to its Windows 11 operating system makes it impossible to circumvent its built-in web browser, Microsoft Edge, for specific shortcuts like those found in the Start menu, Widgets, etc. Previously, a small app called EdgeDeflector provided a workaround for this behavior, but according to its own author’s blog, a new build prevents its app from fully functioning.

If you are not familiar with EdgeDeflector, it is an app that could have been set as the default app for links with the header of “microsoft-edge: //”, which are links within the Windows shell that opened in Microsoft Edge. The app just redirected those links to https: //, so they would open in whatever you set as your default browser. If you’re not sure what yours is set to, simply copy this link – microsoft-edge:https: // – and type Windows key + R, then paste it into the Run command and press Enter.

Previously it was possible to change the shortcuts associated with Edge to Edge Deflector with a single click.

According to the author of the software, the new Windows Insider Preview build # 22494 completely defeats his app. There are no workarounds or registry hacks you can use to get certain links to open in any browser other than Edge, period. This linking behavior is associated with Microsoft adding widgets and “web experiences” to Windows 11 that will automatically open shortcuts in Edge, and if you search for something in the Start Menu, any shortcuts displayed will also be open in Edge only. Also, as you may have previously experienced, once you open Edge, the software often annoys you to make it your default browser (bring me back, please!). Anecdotally, we can remember installing trivial updates to Windows 10 that report a shortcut to Edge in our system tray, so suffice it to say that this behavior from Microsoft won’t exactly surprise anyone.

This is on top of Microsoft making it more difficult to permanently change the default browser in Windows 11. If you don’t set a new file association to “always use this app” the first time you run it, you’ll need to manually change each individual file association for web links to get them Not open in Edge. There’s a pattern here, of course, and as the software’s author notes, it harks back to the old days when Microsoft was tasked with promoting its Internet Explorer browser over its competitors’ offerings.

As for what the future holds for EdgeDeflector, it looks pretty bleak. The author writes: “There are still ways I can get around the limitation, but any method left in my toolbox will require you to make destructive changes to Windows. Changes that can cause problems for the user down the line and problems that frankly I don’t want to support. “There will be no further updates to the software until Microsoft reverses its position on the issue, which is unlikely. However, to be fair to Microsoft, a lot of users really enjoy using Edge now that it’s based on Chromium, and the company has completely reversed course too by letting people install games purchased from its stores. where they want, so we’ve seen Microsoft listen to its customers. Maybe they will do it again here (but probably not).

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