Mozilla beats Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows. Windows 10 has a much easier way to switch default browsers though it is a bit more than a single click process to switch to Edge.
The one-click process is officially available only for Microsoft, but this will change since the release of Firefox version 91 on August 10.
With Firefox version 91, Mozilla has reverse-engineered how Microsoft sets Edge as a default Windows 10 browser. In this version, it has enabled Firefox to quickly make itself a default browser.
Prior to this update, Firefox users were required to go to the Windows 10 Settings and select Firefox as a default browser and ignore Microsoft’s plea to keep Edge.
The latest Firefox Version 91 update will allow users to set Firefox as default browser from inside the browser options. The browser does all the work in the background with no additional prompts.
This means the entire process overrides Microsoft’s anti-hijacking protections built into Windows 10 to ensure it is malware safe and bad actors cannot hack into default apps. Microsoft recommends it is not supported in Windows.
Clearly, Mozilla was frustrated by the complicated method for setting up the default browser, which may turn out to be even harder in the case of Windows 11.
Mozilla spokesperson told The Verge, “People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t. All operating systems should offer official developer support for default status so people can easily set their apps as default. Since that hasn’t happened on Windows 10 and 11, Firefox relies on other aspects of the Windows environment to give people an experience similar to what Windows provides to Edge when users choose Firefox to be their default browser.”
Earlier in an open letter to Microsoft in 2015, Mozilla tried to convince Microsoft to improve its default browser settings in Windows. Though nothing has changed since then and now things will be getting even harder when it comes to switching browsers with the introduction of Windows 11.
Clearly tired of pleading, Mozilla began implementing its changes in Firefox shortly after the Windows 11 unveiling in June.
As of now none of the other browsers such as Google, Vivaldi, Opera, and other Chromium-based browsers have gone Mozilla’s way. It is still unclear how Microsoft will react to Mozilla’s action. It is clear that Microsoft has genuine security-related concerns, though allowing Edge to easily switch does raise eyebrows. Certainly with the additional modifications expected in Windows 11, it makes the playing ground more complicated for the others.