Microsoft Edge is a good browser, but for some reason Microsoft keeps trying to shove it down everyone’s throats and make it harder to use rivals like Chrome or Firefox. Microsoft has now started informing IT admins that it will force Outlook and Teams to override the default web browser on Windows and open links in Microsoft Edge instead.
Reddit users have been posting from the Microsoft 365 admin center revealing how Microsoft plans to roll out this change. Web links from Azure Active Directory (AAD) accounts and Microsoft (MSA) accounts in the Outlook for Windows app open in Microsoft Edge in a single view, with the open link displayed side-by-side with the email where it is came from,” he said. a message to Microsoft IT administrators.
While this doesn’t affect the default browser setting in Windows, it’s yet another part of Microsoft 365 and Windows that completely overrides your default browser choice for links. Microsoft is already doing this with the Widgets system in Windows 11 and even the search experience, forcing you to Edge when you click on a link, even if you’ve set a different browser as the default.
IT admins are not happy with a lot of complaining in various threads on Reddit, noted by Newwin. As if Outlook wasn’t enough, Microsoft says “a similar experience will arrive soon in Teams” with web links from chats opening in Microsoft Edge alongside Teams chats. Microsoft appears to be gradually rolling this out to Microsoft 365 users, and IT admins will be notified 30 days before it rolls out to Outlook.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise IT admins can change the policy, but those using Microsoft 365 for business will need to manage this change on individual machines. That will give many small businesses the unnecessary headache of figuring out what has changed. Imagine being less tech savvy, clicking a link in Outlook and thinking you’ve lost all your favorites because it’s not open in your usual browser.
The notifications to IT admins come just weeks after Microsoft promised significant changes to how Windows manages which apps open certain files or links by default. At the time, Microsoft said it believed “we have a responsibility to ensure that users’ choices are respected” and that it is “important that we lead by example with our own first party Microsoft products.” Forcing people to enter Microsoft Edge and ignore default browsers is anything but respecting user choice, and it’s disgusting that Microsoft continues to abuse this.
Windows 11 also launched with a messy and cumbersome process to set default apps, which was a step down from Windows 10 and a concern among competing browser makers such as Mozilla, Opera, and Vivaldi. A Windows 11 update improved that process, but it’s clear that Microsoft is still interested in finding ways to bypass default browser choices.