Microsoft simplifies setting default apps in Windows 11

Since its release in 2021, one of the most consistent criticisms of Windows 11 has been Microsoft’s handling of app defaults. Compared to Windows 10, the newer OS makes it more complicated for users to move away from the company’s first-party offerings. For example, if you don’t want Edge to open every time you click on a webpage or PDF, you need to launch Windows 11’s Settings menu and change the default app by file and link type. It is an unnecessarily long process that makes Windows 11 customization complicated.

Microsoft is finally addressing some of these criticisms. In a blog post published on Friday (via computer beeps), the company said it’s “a validation of our long-standing approach to putting people in control of their Windows PC experience.” Microsoft announced a feature that would ensure Windows 11 users have control over changes to their app defaults. Later this year, the company will introduce a new Deep Link Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that will allow developers to direct users to the correct section of the settings menu if they want to change how Windows 11 reacts to specific links and file types.


Microsoft says it will also give users more control over which apps get pinned to their desktop, start menu and taskbar with a new public API that displays a prompt asking you to give programs permission before they click on these interface elements are displayed. Both features will roll out first to PCs registered to the Windows Insider Dev Channel in the coming months before appearing in the public release of Windows 11. Microsoft specifically says it’s “leading by example” and will be releasing updates to Edge that will see the browser add support for those features as they become available.


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