Microsoft blocks EdgeDeflector to force Windows 11 users into Edge

Microsoft has already made it tougher to swap default browsers in Windows 11, and now the corporate goes a step additional by blocking apps like EdgeDeflector. Third-party apps like EdgeDeflector and even Firefox have supplied workarounds to Microsoft forcing folks to use Edge in Begin menu search outcomes, even when their default browser will not be Edge.

Microsoft has been forcing Windows 10 and Windows 11 users into Edge and its Bing search engine within the Begin menu search outcomes, and now with the brand new Widgets panel in Windows 11. It’s a irritating a part of Windows that doesn’t respect your default browser selection. EdgeDeflector helps you to bypass these restrictions, and open Begin menu search leads to your default browser of selection.

The EdgeDeflector block first appeared in an early preview construct of Windows 11 final week. Whereas the block initially seemed like a bug, Microsoft has now confirmed the adjustments will arrive for all Windows 11 users in a software program replace that’s arriving within the coming weeks. Microsoft has determined to stop app builders from invoking microsoft-edge protocol hyperlinks, which are actually restricted to the Edge browser.


Windows 11 makes it more durable to set default apps.

“Windows brazenly permits purposes and providers on its platform, together with numerous internet browsers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in an announcement to The Verge. “On the similar time, Windows additionally gives sure end-to-end buyer experiences in each Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search expertise from the taskbar is one such instance of an end-to-end expertise that’s not designed to be redirected. Once we turn out to be conscious of improper redirection, we challenge a repair.”

This “repair” is now a part of an upcoming imminent update to Windows 11 that arrived for Beta and Launch Preview users late on Friday, and the developer of EdgeDeflector isn’t proud of Microsoft’s adjustments. “These aren’t the actions of an attentive firm that cares about its product anymore,” says Daniel Aleksandersen, developer of EdgeDeflector, in a essential weblog publish final week. “Microsoft isn’t a great steward of the Windows working system. They’re prioritizing advertisements, bundleware, and repair subscriptions over their users’ productiveness.”

Microsoft hasn’t defined why it has immediately began to block EdgeDeflector and different apps, nevertheless it’s very clear why. “The five hundred,000 EdgeDeflector users have been most likely by no means greater than a nuisance to Microsoft,” explains Aleksandersen. “Nevertheless, final month each the Courageous and Firefox internet browsers either copied EdgeDeflector’s functionality or signaled it was on the roadmap.”

Firefox has 200 million users, in order that’s seemingly to have caught Microsoft’s consideration and lead them to patch this workaround. Mozilla isn’t impressed with Microsoft’s block right here, both.


Firefox within the Microsoft Retailer doesn’t embrace default browser workarounds.

“Folks deserve selection. They need to have the power to merely and simply set defaults and their selection of default browser must be revered,” says a Mozilla spokesperson in an announcement to The Verge. “We’ve labored on code that launches Firefox when the microsoft-edge protocol is used for these users which have already chosen Firefox as their default browser. Following the latest change to Windows 11, this deliberate implementation will not be potential.”

(*11*)Mozilla additionally carried out its personal workaround to rapidly and simply set Firefox because the default browser on Windows 10 and Windows 11 in a single click on. It’s a function that Microsoft limits to its Edge browser. Whereas Mozilla’s workaround is accessible within the model of Firefox you obtain from the online, in the event you obtain Firefox from the Microsoft Retailer then the default browser workaround is lacking.

“Firefox ships an MSIX package deal within the Windows Retailer in order that our users on Windows 10 and Windows 11 are ready to obtain Firefox from the Retailer,” explains a Mozilla spokesperson. “MSIX packages run in a ‘Windows package deal surroundings.’ The facets of the Windows surroundings that Firefox depends on when users select Firefox to be their default browser don’t work in a MSIX surroundings.”

Microsoft’s adjustments listed here are gross, significantly the Windows 11 ones that make it tougher to swap default browsers within the first place. It’s an aggressive technique that jogs my memory of the ugly antitrust battle for bundling Web Explorer in Windows. Microsoft additionally confronted a number of fines in Europe over its anti-competitive Web Explorer bundling, together with a $730 million high quality for breaking a 2009 antitrust settlement.

The strangest a part of Microsoft forcing folks to use Edge and ignoring browser defaults in Windows is that Microsoft Edge is an efficient browser. Microsoft shouldn’t want to force you into utilizing it.

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