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How to remove Edge as your default web browser in Windows 10

Michael Passingham
7 Aug 2015
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Don't want Edge as your default browser? Learn how to change it with our simple tutorial, plus how to set other program defaults

If you've upgraded to Windows 10, you might have found that Microsoft's Edge browser has become your default browser. While our browser performance benchmarks confirm that Edge is a fast browser, you might not be prepared to drop your current favourite browser just yet. Annoyingly, in Windows 10, Microsoft has made it a little bit trickier to change your default browser. We'll show you how to quickly and directly make the change, so you can use your browser of choice, as well as how to change other default applications.

Also read: How to import your bookmarks into Edge

First, close all web browser tabs and windows you currently have open. We found that changing these settings with a browser open would cause it to crash, which could mean you lose data. Open the start menu and type default programs, and select Default Programs. Then select Set your default programs, which is the item at the top of the list.

Windows has to build a list of all the applications that are installed on your computer, so you'll have to wait a few seconds while it populates the list. Once it has completed, you'll see a list of installed applications in the left-hand column. Scroll through this list until you find the browser that you want to use and click it to select it. If you want your browser to be the default application for every file type and link that it can deal with, click Set this program as default.

Granular control

If you want to open some things in this browser but have other programs you want to open for other types of files or pages, select Choose defaults for this program. Here you can select what your browser will open by default. You'll need to tick several boxes to ensure every web page opens in your browser of choice. Under the Extensions heading, ensure all of the file types under this heading are ticked. The most important ones are HTML and HTM, but if you want all web pages to open in your favourite browser, you should tick all of these.

Under Protocols, ensure HTTP and HTTPS are ticked, as this will cover every link you get from chat messages and emails. If you have no specific requirements and want everything to open in your favourite browser, just tick the select all box.

Microsoft Edge might also be set as your default PDF reader. This is handy if you have no other software installed that can read PDFs, but if you do, you'll probably want to switch to that. Find your PDF reader or word processing software in the list of programs in the Set Default Programs list and, similar to above, make sure .PDF is ticked under the Extensions header.

Other programs

The same changes can be applied to any program on your PC. For example, if you'd prefer to open all of your JPG files in Paint.NET instead of Windows Photo Viewer, you can alter Paint.NET's default files so JPG files are included.

You can also do this in reverse: instead of setting defaults by program, you can set them by file type. This takes a lot longer but it's easily the best way of being able to customise individual file types to a multitude of programs, and will probably be useful to those who work with different video and image formats and use different programs for each. To do this, select associate a file type or protocol with a program.

Double-click on whichever file format or protocol you wish to change, and you'll be presented with a list of all the programs you can open it with. Keep in mind, only programs you currently have installed will be on this list.

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