The Mozilla Foundation has made it easy to switch to Firefox via Windows recently. And while Microsoft does offer a way to switch default browsers across Windows 10, it’s more complicated than a simple switch to Edge.
This one-click process is not officially available to any company other than Microsoft.
And in Firefox version 91, released on August 10, Mozilla reversed the way Microsoft sets Edge as the default in Windows 10, and enabled Firefox to quickly make itself the default.
Prior to this change, Firefox users are sent to the Settings pane in Windows 10 and then have to select Firefox as the default browser and ignore Microsoft’s prompts to keep the Edge browser.
Mozilla’s reverse engineering means that you can now set Firefox as the default from within the browser, and it does all the work in the background without any additional prompts.
This circumvents Microsoft’s hijacking protection measures that the company has built into Windows 10 to ensure that malware cannot hijack default applications.
Mozilla is clearly not satisfied with the more cumbersome way to set up a default browser, a process that Microsoft makes more difficult in Windows 11.
A Mozilla spokesperson says: People should have the ability to easily and simply set default settings. But it is not.
“All operating systems must offer official developer support for default mode so that people can set their apps as default,” he added.
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Mozilla makes it easy to switch to Firefox on Windows
Since this did not happen across Windows 10 and Windows 11. Firefox depends on other aspects of the Windows environment. This is to give people an experience similar to what Windows provides for Edge when users choose Firefox as their default browser.
Mozilla has been trying to convince Microsoft to improve the default browser settings in Windows since Her open letter to the company in 2015.
Nothing has changed, and Windows 11 makes it even more difficult to switch default browsers. This seems to prompt Mozilla to implement its changes in Firefox. And that’s shortly after Windows 11 was unveiled in June.
Google, Opera, Vivaldi and other Chromium-based browsers haven’t followed Mozilla’s lead, and it’s not clear how Microsoft will respond.
The software giant has some real security reasons to protect against malware with anti-hijacking software.
But by allowing Edge to easily switch defaults, it does a disservice to competing browser vendors who want a level playing field.
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