If you’re looking to make the switch to Firefox on Windows, Mozilla has made it easier than ever to change your default browser thanks to some clever reverse engineering. Mozilla’s new way has you changing the default in just a single click instead of Microsoft’s clunky, multi-step method.
Changing to Firefox on Windows
The issue with changing browsers is that Microsoft has created a simple one-click process that switches to Edge but not for other browsers. And while most users are willing to jump through the extra hoops to get the browser they want to use as the default, Mozilla has decided to reproduce Microsoft’s simple switching method for its browser.
In version 91 of Firefox, which came out on August 10, 2021, developers Mozilla reverse-engineered the method Microsoft uses to set Edge as the default browser in Windows 10. This means you don’t have to go through the Windows Settings section and read Microsoft’s desperate pleas to keep you on Edge.
With Mozilla’s method, you can change the default to Firefox from the browser itself. When you launch the browser, it’ll ask if you want to make Firefox the default. If you say yes, Firefox will handle all of the work in the background. You can just relax and enjoy your new default browser without the guilt trip.
In a statement to The Verge, a Mozilla representative said, “People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t.”
The representative continued, “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.”
It’s important to note that Microsoft doesn’t appear to be doing anything malicious by making it harder to change the default browser. Instead, the company put the extra steps in place to ensure malware couldn’t hijack default apps. However, it seems as though the protections weren’t that strong if Mozilla could reverse engineer them so quickly, which means malware could do the same.
It’s Going to Get Harder in Windows 11
Microsoft announced a messy way to change the defaults in Windows 11, and developers are certainly not happy about it.
Mozilla taking matters into its own hands is a significant first step, and hopefully, other browser developers will follow along, offering methods to change defaults within the browser itself.