Microsoft blocks workaround to open links without Edge on Windows 11

Microsoft to prevent users from using workarounds to open web queries in Windows Search with other browsers other than Edge.

Windows 11 EdgeDeflector
Windows 11 EdgeDeflector
  • Microsoft will force users to use Edge exclusively to open web results.
  • Windows 11 update will block EdgeDeflector to open web links from Windows Search.
  • The update is expected to release in next Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft is preparing a “fix” to block the popular EdgeDeflector to prevent opening links on another browser other than Edge on Windows 11.

When you click a web result on Windows Search, by default, the link will open on Microsoft Edge using Bing regardless of the browser you have configured as your system default. EdgeDeflector is a small application that redirects web searches to your preferred default browser with your preferred search engine.

While the application has helped many non-Edge users for a long time, it seems that soon will no longer be the case since Microsoft has already confirmed that the search experience hasn’t been designed to be redirected, and any improper redirection of the “microsoft-edge” protocol will conclude in a patch to block such action. And now, the company is testing a block to prevent EdgeDeflector in the preview builds of Windows 11 available through the Windows Insider Program, which is planned to arrive for everyone with the December Patch Tuesday update.

This is not the only attempt to enforce its web browser and search engine on the platform. Starting on Windows 11, Microsoft has made it more difficult for users to make Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and other browsers the system default by making users change the setting for every protocol instead of having to flip a single switch.

Furthermore, the new Widgets dashboard also forces users to use Edge and Bing to open content and news articles.

Microsoft is not sharing any specific reasons for the patch to prevent EdgeDeflector from redirecting queries to the user’s preferred browser and search engine. However, according to a report from The Verge, 500K downloads of the application may not be making the software giant very happy.

Although one could understand that Microsoft wants things to work in a certain way, people still deserve the choice to choose the experience they want to use on their devices.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].