If you’re one of the millions of people who’ve already upgraded to Windows 10, you’ve probably noticed that the OS changed your default apps. Your main browser, for instance, suddenly became Microsoft Edge after the upgrade — something Mozilla finds “disturbing,” especially since the platform actually made it trickier to switch back to Chrome, Firefox or any other browser. In an open letter to Microsoft head honcho Satya Nadella, Mozilla’s CEO Chris Beard revealed that the non-profit got in touch with the Windows 10 team when it got wind of the change, but that “didn’t result in any meaningful progress.”
Beard wrote (emphasis ours):
…the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.
We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.
Now, in order to switch your default browser, you’ll need to tick the check box asking if you want to make Firefox or Chrome your default the first time you launch either. Then, you’ll have to find “Web browser” in the Settings page that pops up and click the Edge icon to find alternatives in the drop-down menu. The video below can show you those steps more clearly:
We designed Windows 10 to provide a simple upgrade experience for users and a cohesive experience following the upgrade. During the upgrade, consumers have the choice to set defaults, including for web browsing. Following the upgrade, they can easily choose the default browser of their choice. As with all aspects of the product, we have designed Windows 10 as a service; if we learn from user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will do so.