The latest version of Mozilla Firefox lets Windows users set it as their default browser in just one click, no trip to the Windows 10 Settings app necessary. According to a report from The Verge, Mozilla has circumvented Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows 10, which protect users seeing malware replace default apps on their PCs.
We’ve tried installing Mozilla Firefox version 91 on a Windows 10 and a Windows 11 PC, and we can confirm that the pop-up window that shows up when you open the browser for the first time lets you set it as your default in just one click. Windows 10 usually requires users to change their default browser in the Settings app, and Windows 11 has made this process even more complicated, as we explained.
If Microsoft told The Verge that the company isn’t supporting Mozilla’s hack, the non-profit organization has apparently become frustrated with Microsoft giving its own Edge browser a preferential treatment on Windows. If you need to visit the Windows 10 Settings app to set Chrome or other browsers as your default, it’s not the case for Microsoft Edge as you can set it as your default right from the browser’s settings.
“People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t. 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,” a Mozilla spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft will address Mozilla’s hack, which could well give other browser vendors an incentive to push for a change. Microsoft received a fair share of criticism for making the process of switching default apps even in Windows 11 even more complicated, and the Redmond giant may need to find a better balance between security principles and open competition.
Do you miss the pre-Windows 10 days when users could switch default browsers in a single click? Let us know in the comments below.