Microsoft makes it easy to change default apps in Windows 11

Microsoft makes it easy to change default apps in Windows 11

Microsoft makes it easy to change default apps in Windows 11


Microsoft's new "principles" around default app settings and pinning new buttons to the Windows taskbar may simplify the setup process soon.

Microsoft promises significant changes to how Windows manages which apps open specific files by default and how users can choose programs to pin to their Start menu on the Windows taskbar or desktop.

A new Settings deep link URI scheme will allow developers to send users directly to the right place in Settings to change which program is the default for particular file types or links.

Separately, Microsoft will begin testing a new API to allow apps to pin a primary or secondary tile to the taskbar.

Shared on a company blog as "a principled approach to pinning apps and app defaults in Windows," it must address some issues introduced with the move to Windows 11 and make changing settings and the look of Windows more like what people are used to from iOS or Android mobile devices. The post also reminds me of Microsoft's blog post from February of last year laying out a series of Open App Store Principles that advanced lawmakers' plans and selectively justified delisting from its Xbox platform.

When Windows 11 was released, it had a complicated and cumbersome process for setting default programs. It was a step back from Windows 10 and required users to go through each file type instead of simply choosing a preferred web browser or editor of pictures.

A Windows 11 update to switch your default browser back to a simple one-click process came for everyone last year, but allowing deep links that take users of an app to the Settings menu's correct part should improve things simpler to adjust no matter what they are preparing. In addition, a standardized menu for adding app tiles to the taskbar could encourage new widgets or other interfaces that keep information from the programs you use most available for easy access.

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