Why Does Microsoft Force Me To Use Edge?

After two decades of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has released a new web browser called Edge. It's meant to be similar to its predecessor, but streamlined for the way the world wide web has developed in that time. But many people simply prefer the speed of Google Chrome or customizable qualities of Mozilla Firefox. New Windows 10 users may feel like they are being forced into using Edge. We've put together a quick explanation of where that is true, and how to avoid feeling like you are being press-ganged into a user experience you don't prefer. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

How Do I Change My Default Browser

  1. Type "default app settings" into Cortana
  2. Click "Enter"
  3. Under "Choose default apps," scroll down to "web browser"
  4. Click "Microsoft Edge"
  5. Click your preferred browser

Is Microsoft Edge Better Than Google Chrome?

When it comes to web browsers, the differences are fairly small. They can all do the same core tasks and, now that Edge is out, they boast roughly similar speeds. But those small differences are still important. Here are some that you can find between two of the biggest browsers on the planet.

Feature Edge Chrome
Curated extensions
Annotate web pages
Huge variety of options

How To Hide Cortana

Removing Cortana from Windows 10 requires a registry edit, which is something that should be left to experienced users. But if you really don't want to interact with Microsoft Edge at all, or you just want to free up space on your task bar, you can hide the Cortana search box by following these simple steps.

  • Right click on the task bar
  • Hover over the "Cortana" option
  • Choose "Show Cortana icon" if you want to shrink it, or "Hidden" if you want to remove it completely
  • You can still access the search by clicking the Windows logo and typing your query

Using Microsoft Edge


The only time that Windows 10 enforces the use of Microsoft Edge is in conjunction with a Cortana search. Otherwise, it is easy to change your default browser in either the system settings or the browser itself. Once that's done, you'll almost never have to see Edge again.

In Depth

Microsoft's new browser, called Edge, is the default way to use the internet on PCs running Windows 10. Microsoft believes that Edge offers the best experience on the Windows 10 operating system. With it as the default, all hyperlinks will automatically open in it. This makes it seem as though you have no choice but to use Edge.

However, Microsoft does not force people to use Edge in most cases. You can change the default browser in Windows 10 to whatever you prefer, including Firefox and Google Chrome. After that is done, all hyperlinks will open in your browser of choice. There is only one circumstance in which you are forced to use Edge. Let's take a closer look at that one instance and learn how to change the default in all other situations.

The lower left corner of your Windows 10 screen contains a search area called the Cortana search box. Cortana is the virtual assistant that is preinstalled on all Windows 10 PCs. This assistant can perform voice-activated searches, track your appointments, send reminders, and much more. Using this box, you can search for applications, files, and settings on your computer, and can even perform web searches if you are connected to the internet.

Cortana is the virtual assistant that is preinstalled on all Windows 10 PCs.

To use the box, simply type your search phrase. Cortana will show you a list of suggested searches. If you click on "see web results," the Edge browser will open and perform the selected search using Bing. Edge will launch even if you have already set another browser as the default.

This is the only time that you are forced to use Edge as your browser in Windows 10. Microsoft does so because it believes a continuous user experience is best maintained by cooperation between Cortana, Edge, and Bing. That cooperation gives you personalized search results based on your location and other factors. Microsoft feels that allowing other browsers in this situation would disrupt the end-to-end experience it intends to provide, so it forces use of Edge and Bing.

You are free to choose another browser as your default in all other instances though. If Edge is currently your default and you want it to be something else, it is easy to make the change. Type "default app settings" into the Cortana search box in the lower left corner of your screen and press the "enter" key.

You are free to choose another browser as your default in all other instances though.

The "Default apps" window opens. On the right side, under "Choose default apps," scroll down to "web browser." Click on Microsoft Edge, and then click your choice to select it. Windows saves your changes automatically. That's it. Microsoft Edge is no longer your default, and hyperlinks will be opened with the browser you selected. Remember, however, that searches you perform from the Cortana search box will still take place in Edge.

If your browser of choice does not appear in the list as an option to select, that means it is not installed. Install it, and then go through the procedure above. Alternatively, you can also change this setting from within your preferred browser. In Chrome, click on the menu icon in the upper right corner, and then click "settings." The settings page will open. Scroll down to "default browser" and click "Make default." Now all hyperlinks will automatically open in Chrome.

In Firefox, click the menu icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three horizontal lines stacked vertically. Then click "Options." Under "General," find "Firefox is not your default browser" and click the "Make Default" button beside it. Now all hyperlinks will automatically open in Firefox.

Now all hyperlinks will automatically open in Firefox.

While Microsoft prefers that computer users rely on their products, it does not force people to use Edge. The only exception is when they are performing a web search from Cortana. It might feel as though you are being forced to use Edge because it is set as the default browser in Windows 10. However, it is easy to change this setting with just a few clicks.