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Microsoft to make it easier to switch default apps in Windows 11

The present current system for changing default apps is cumbersome and complicated. Microsoft will provide a 'common supported way' that will allow developers 'to make their app the default or pin their app to the taskbar'

March 19, 2023 / 02:41 PM IST
(Image: HP)

(Image: HP)

Microsoft will make it easier to change default applications in Windows 11 to address an oft-heard complaint about the operating system.

"We want to ensure that people are in control of what gets pinned to their Desktop, their Start menu and their Taskbar as well as to be able to control their default applications such as their default browser through consistent, clear and trustworthy Windows provided system dialogs and settings," the company said in a blog post.

The tech giant was responding to the long-winded process of changing apps. If, for instance, a user  wants to change the default browser from Edge to Chrome, they not only need to set it as the default browser but you also need to manually set it as default for each associated file and link type.

While Microsoft may have done this to give granular control over apps to users, it's convoluted process that irked the users.

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Microsoft will now provide a "common supported way" to app developers that gives them the "ability to make their app the default or pin their app to the taskbar".

It also said that own apps will use the same standard for pinning and defaults, ensuring its ecosystem of apps is not given a preference.

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A new Settings deep link URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) will be provided to developers, so that they can guide their users to the appropriate settings for defaults.

For pinning apps, Microsoft will introduce an API that will allow third-party apps to be automatically pinned as primary or secondary tiles on the taskbar.

Microsoft said that these new features were coming to the Windows Insider Channel first over the next few months.

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first published: Mar 19, 2023 02:41 pm