Windows is Making It Easier to Avoid Default Apps

Since Windows 11 was released in 2021, a persistent criticism has been aimed at Microsoft’s management of app defaults. Unlike Windows 10, the latest operating system makes it challenging for users to switch from the company’s in-house apps.

If a user prefers not to use Edge as their default app when opening webpages or PDFs, they must open Windows 11’s Settings menu and modify the default app according to the file and link type. This convoluted process needlessly prolongs customizing Windows 11.

Microsoft has taken steps to address some of the criticisms. In a blog post released on Friday (as reported by Bleeping Computer), the company stated that it is “reiterating our longstanding philosophy of giving individuals control over their Windows PC experience.”

Microsoft has unveiled a new feature that will empower Windows 11 users to oversee changes to their app defaults. The company intends to introduce a new deep link uniform resource identifier (URI) later this year that will enable developers to direct users to the appropriate part of the Settings menu when they wish to modify how Windows 11 handles specific file types and links.

In addition, Microsoft has pledged to provide users with greater control over which apps are pinned to their desktop, start menu, and taskbar, using a new public API that will prompt users to grant permission before allowing programs to appear on those interface elements.

These features will initially be available to Windows Insider Dev Channel in the upcoming months before being included in the public release of Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that it will “set an example” by updating Edge to support these features as they become accessible.

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