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How to Change Default Browser app in Windows OS

Learn how to change the default browser to open links and protocols on the Windows PC. You can switch the browser app and file association from System settings.

The Microsoft Edge is a default browser that comes pre-installed on the latest Windows OS. In order to change the default browser in Windows PC, navigate to Settings, select Apps, then Default Apps. Find your desired browser from installed application list and set it as default for each associated file type and protocol.

Change Default Browser app in Windows OS

Microsoft Edge, built on the Chromium project, is a default browser app on Windows OS, replacing long and old Internet Explorer after Windows 10 update. And Microsoft is forcing its users to stick with its new proprietary app.

The Edge browser has the goodies other Chromium browsers, like Chrome, Opera, etc., offer. It is fully integrated with Microsoft account that allows data sync across devices and platforms.

However, internet users are already accustomed to pre-existing browsers, often good alternatives to Edge on Windows. Hence it’s tough for them to make a switch.

If you want to switch away from the default Edge browser, then the guide will help you change your default browser app on your Windows computer. It also helps you to switch back to Edge if that’s your need.

Change the Default browser on Windows PC

As mentioned, the Windows OS defaults to its proprietary browser- Microsoft Edge. However, it also offers an option to choose from the list of browser apps installed on the system.

Here are the steps to change the browser app in Windows OS:

  1. Click on the Start menu and select the Settings option.
    Windows OS Settings option under Start menuIt will open the Windows System settings window.
  2. Switch to the Apps menu from the left sidebar and then select the Default apps in the right pane.
    Default apps settings under Apps menu on Windows PC
  3. Under the Set defaults for applications, search and select the desired browser (say, Firefox or Chrome) to open.
    Search for browser app to Set defaults for application on Windows OS
  4. Click the Set Default button at the top.
    Set Default button on Windows PC for web browser
  5. The desired browser will be set as the default app.

Notice the change in the browser app for associated file type extensions. The HTML file will be set to the new default browser on Windows OS.

Default browser app on Windows is changed and file types is associated

Using Customize option, you can also change file type association to any other application or the new default browser.

For example, most browsers, like Chrome, Edge, Opera, etc., have a built-in PDF viewer; hence you can check the association of .pdf file to your desired browser.

Open PDF files in Google Chrome on Windows PC

After changing the default browser app on Windows, any link clicked on the Document or Excel will open the same browser.

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Note: Ensure you already have the desired browser downloaded and installed on your Windows OS. Else, it won’t appear in the list of browsers to choose from in the default application search or customize panel.

Bottom Line

The Windows OS offers the flexibility to choose any browser as a default. However, the browser has to be first installed on the system.

We have a good list of browsers compatible with Windows OS that you can refer to and make a choice. You can use the browser apps like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc., in place of Edge browser for seamless browsing.

After setting a new default browser, all the links and pages will open in the same browser. You may customize to associate different file types to use the desired browser instead of the Edge browser.

Of course, the Edge is a good choice for people using Microsoft products and services. It makes sense to stick with Edge instead of any other browser for organizations that rely on Microsoft 365 services for their business needs.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback on How to Change Default Browser app in Windows OS, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal is a Bachelor of Engineering, a Certified Google IT Support Professional, and a Digital-Tech Geek. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and creating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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