Windows 10 and Chrome are about to make switching default browsers even less painful

Microsoft lost quite a bit of goodwill by forcing the Microsoft Edge browser on uninterested users — but maybe those days are nearing an end? For a possible preview of the future, check this GIF from Leopeva64, who has a future version of Google’s Chrome web browser on their machine, alongside the 2H22 update to Windows 10.

As of this March, switching your default browser in Windows 11 had already been improved to take just a few clicks in a settings menu, but you can see how the older Windows 10 is even cleaner than that. And with the Chrome and Windows 10 22H2 updates, you can seemingly just hit the pop-up in the browser itself (in this case, Chrome Dev version 106.0.5231.2) to set it right away. That would sure be nice to have in Windows 11 as well.

If you add the fact that rival browsers like Firefox and Opera already support the same kind of one-click, in-browser default app switching, we could be entering a new golden age where browsers can actually compete on their merits instead of begging or pushing you around. Just click to switch your browser, as often as you like, till you’ve settled on the one you want.

I wouldn’t count on it, necessarily, as Microsoft isn’t the only browser manufacturer that’s pushy with prompts. And it’s not clear whether this one-touch feature will work at all in Windows 11. My colleague Tom just tried it with the 22H2 update (you’ve been able to install the release preview since June) and it just pushed him into the settings menu while doing nothing at all. It didn’t work for me on Windows 11 21H2 either.

Leopeva says you’ll need to set a flag to get it to work on Windows 10: “—enable-features=Win10UnattendedDefault”

Chrome Dev is typically nine to 12 weeks ahead of the stable version of Chrome, according to Google’s FAQ. Windows 11 22H2 is coming this September, according to Tom’s sources. Windows 10 22H2 should also be out this fall.