Mozilla defeats Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows

According to the latest news, Mozilla has silently made it easier to switch to Firefox on Windows. Microsoft offers a to switch default browsers on Windows 10, but it is more cumbersome than a one click process. The one click is not officially available for anyone other than Microsoft.

Mozilla has reverse engineered the way Microsoft sets Microsoft Edge as default in Windows 10 in version 91 of the Firefox update which was released on 10th August. It enabled Firefox to quickly make itself the default. Before this, users would have to go to windows 10 settings to select Firefox or some other rival browser as default.

Mozilla’s reverse engineering means we can now set Firefox as the default from within the browser. It circumvents Microsoft’s anti-hijacking protections built in Windows 10 to ensure malware couldn’t hijack default apps.

A Mozilla spokesperson said “People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t. All operating systems should offer official developer support for default status so people can easily set their apps as default. 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 provides to Edge when users choose Firefox to be their default browser.”

Since its open letter to Microsoft in 2015, Mozilla has been trying to convince Microsoft to improve its default browser settings in Windows but nothing has changed, in fact, Microsoft made it more difficult to change default browsers. So far, other rival companies like Google, Vivaldi, Opera, and other Chromium-based browsers have not followed Mozilla’s lead and even Microsoft has not responded.

Previously, Microsoft has some genuine security related reasons to demonstrate why it does not promote changing default applications often. We have to wait and see how Microsoft responds and whether other rival companies follow Mozilla or not.

Mary Woods
A news media professional with strong experience in online journalism, content management, and social media.