How to force all web links to open in your default browser on Windows 10, not Microsoft Edge

It’s no secret that Microsoft wants you to use its Edge browser in Windows 10. It’s tried a lot of ways to persuade users to switch from Chrome, Firefox or other browsers over the years, including advertising Edge in Windows.

The new Edge is genuinely good now, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it if you prefer another browser, like Chrome or Firefox.

Windows 10 users will be aware that Edge is already the default browser for certain links and actions, but a tiny open source program can redirect these links to whatever browser you have set up as the default.

EdgeDeflector for Windows 10 is a small helper application that intercepts URIs that force-open web links in Microsoft Edge and redirects it to the system’s default web browser. Or in other words, makes Windows 10 work how it should.

It was recently updated after a number of years to fix issues and now installs on a per-user basis, so doesn't require administrative permissions to install.

Once you run it you will need to follow these steps to set it up.

  1. Open the Windows Settings app.
  2. Go to Apps > Default apps.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click Choose default apps by protocol.
  4. Locate MICROSOFT-EDGE in the list and click on the program icon to the right of it.
  5. Select EdgeDeflector from the list. Confirm the change if asked to.

To check that it is working:

  1. Copy the following test link: microsoft-edge:
  2. Press the Windows key + R.
  3. Press the Control key + V to paste the test link.
  4. Press the Enter key.

The software runs transparently in the background, redirecting links as and when required.

It doesn’t stop searches running in Bing, but it does at least mean the correct browser will open for you when you run a search.

You can download the latest version of EdgeDeflector from here.

If you are running an old version of the software you may need to uninstall it before installing the new release.

Image credit: Potstock / Shutterstock

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