Mozilla has always been that one company constantly trying to bug mega tech companies - always a win for consumers! The browser maker has now managed to defeat Microsoft's default app setting protections with Firefox 91. Microsoft notoriously makes it difficult for users to switch default browsers, avoiding to offer a one-click solution.
Now, with Firefox, Mozilla is circumventing Microsoft's protections that force users to keep Microsoft Edge as the default browser. The company said it has reverse-engineered the new Default Apps interface in Windows 11, allowing its users to easily switch the default browser.
This means Firefox users will now be able to set the browser as the default from within the interface without having to head over to settings. Firefox will do all the work in the background, requiring no further input from the user.
"People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t," Mozilla said.
"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."
Mozilla has remained outspoken about Windows 10 (and now Windows 11) making it difficult for users to change their default browser. "[These changes] are unsettling because there are millions of users who love Windows and who are having their choices ignored, and because of the increased complexity put into everyone’s way if and when they choose to make a choice different than what Microsoft prefers," Mozilla CEO Chris Beard had said at the time of Windows 10 release (via The Verge).
"We strongly urge you to reconsider your business tactic here and again respect people’s right to choice and control of their online experience by making it easier, more obvious, and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made through the upgrade experience."
Those running Firefox version 91, which was released last month, should now be able to easily switch their default browser.
While Mozilla is the first company that has tried to resolve this matter on its own without having to rely on Microsoft, it will be interesting to see if other browser makers adopt the same strategies. Microsoft is also likely to make the process even more difficult or put restrictions that could stop Mozilla's workaround.