How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should

How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should

Don’t like the Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser? You’re not alone. Only 11% of all Windows 10 users ran Edge as their main browser as of October 2018, down from 24% about two years before then, reports Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer.

Still, that’s a lot of people running the browser, and many of them might run it only because Microsoft has made it the Windows 10 default. You might be one of them. There’s no doubt Edge has been an improvement over Internet Explorer. But it may not be improvement enough.

In this article, I’ll outline the reasons you may want to switch from Edge to Chrome, Firefox, Opera or another browser, and then show how you can replace Edge with any browser of your choice as your default.

One last note before we dive in: Even if you’ve previously set up another browser to be your default, it might have been changed since then. When there’s a major Windows 10 upgrade, the upgrade recommends switching to Edge, and you might have inadvertently made the switch.

Whatever the reason, though, if Edge is your Windows 10 browser, it’s easy to switch.

(Note that the instructions in this article assume that you’ve installed the latest version of Windows 10 — version 1809, a.k.a. the October 2018 Update. If you haven’t installed it, the screens you see may vary somewhat from what you see here.)

Why edge away from Edge?

There are plenty of reasons to move to a different browser. Start off with extensions — or more precisely, the lack of them. Edge was finally given extension support in August 2016, but even now the number of extensions is embarrassingly low — only 101 as I write this. (Head to Microsoft’s Extensions for Microsoft Edge page to see the current list.) Chrome and Firefox each have thousands of extensions and add-ons. So if you want to improve your browser with add-ons and extensions, Edge isn’t the way to go.

In addition, not everyone is a fan of Edge’s stripped-down look or the way it handles bookmarks and your history list — they’re difficult to find, hidden under hard-to-decipher icons in out-of-the-way places. And even when you get to them, it’s not at all clear how to perform common tasks, such as adding folders or reorganizing Favorites. It’s also not particularly customizable. You can’t, for example, get rid of the inking or Share icons on the upper right side of its screen.