Mozilla makes it easier to set Firefox as the default browser

Mozilla has made it easier to set Firefox as the default browser in Windows. The company now offers an option to set the browser as the default with a single click. Previously, that had to be done manually in the Windows settings.

Mozilla has implemented this feature in Firefox 91 for Windows 10 and 11 without an official announcement, The Verge noted. Users who install the web browser will see a prompt asking if they want to set Firefox as their default browser. If users agree, Firefox is automatically set as the system’s default browser, without users having to manually adjust it in Windows settings.

This capability was previously only available for Microsoft’s own Edge browser, but Mozilla has managed to reverse engineer this feature. To set a default web browser other than Edge in Windows 10, users previously had to navigate to “default apps” in the Windows settings menu and select their preferred web browser. In Windows 11, this process has been made more complicated, The Verge also wrote in August.

With the new feature, Mozilla bypasses the anti-hijacking security features the company has integrated into Windows. Those features should ensure that malware cannot set itself as default apps. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that the feature is not officially supported in Windows.

Mozilla confirms to The Verge that it has recently implemented the feature in its web browser. “All operating systems should have official developer support for the default state so people can easily set their apps as default,” a Mozilla spokesperson told the media. “Since that hasn’t happened on Windows 10 and 11, Firefox relies on other aspects of the Windows environment to give people an experience similar to what Windows offers through Edge.”

For now, Mozilla is the only company that has implemented this feature in its web browser. It is unclear whether other web browsers such as Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Brave or Opera will follow suit in due course. It is also unknown how Microsoft will respond to the new Firefox feature. Mozilla has been calling on Microsoft to make it easier to change default apps since 2015, but the tech giant has yet to respond.