Windows 11 has a change in testing which will please anyone who is fed up with Edge popping up when opening certain links in the OS, despite it not being the default browser – but there’s a catch, sadly.
You’re surely familiar with the scenario where you open a link via a Windows system component – meaning in a Windows 11 menu somewhere, maybe a help link for example – and it fires up Edge, rather than your chosen favorite web browser.
There’s no way to modify that preference either, but in preview build 23531 which was released at the end of last week in the Dev testing channel, Microsoft has changed it so these system components use your default browser, as they should.
As the blog post for build 23531 makes clear: “In the European Economic Area (EEA), Windows system components use the default browser to open links.”
And in that sentence, you can spot the catch: for now this is just in European countries (specifically the EEA), so it’s not happening in the US or elsewhere.
Analysis: Come on Microsoft, push this out globally
Hopefully this feature will witness a wider regional rollout in time – it’s a small tweak to make, and one that’ll definitely lower the annoyance factor when using Windows 11.
Okay, so it isn’t that often that you click one of these system links, but when Edge pops up unannounced, it can be quite annoying. Especially as it inevitably also throws some kind of banner into the mix upon being opened for the first time in a while (“hey, don’t forget about me, make me your default browser, go on, you know you want to,” and so forth).
Is there a reason Microsoft may have been forced to do this in Europe, pertaining to regulations or compliance issues? We’re not sure, but the chatter on the rumor mill seems convinced enough this is something Microsoft is only doing to head off the danger of being penalized by the EU in some way. It does seem strange that the change is Europe-only, after all.
That said, if the feedback is positive enough, maybe the software giant will listen, and roll out this change more widely anyway, even if this somehow a forced move in Europe.
Elsewhere in build 23531, Microsoft has reinstated the search flyout when you mouse over the search box in the taskbar – not something everyone will appreciate. The good news is that you can turn off this function if you find it irritating.
As ever with test builds of Windows 11, there’s no guarantee that the features being tried out in earlier previews will make the cut for the final version of the OS.
Via Windows Central
You might also like
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).