How to stop Edge from opening links

It’s very easy, download and install Edge Deflector, then follow the instructions after install to amend the protocol so that it uses EdgeDeflector instead. All this great little program does is what you wanted in the first place – it opens your preferred browser instead of Microsoft’s. It does this by intercepting Microsoft’s call to Edge and instead redirects it – you don’t even need to specify a preferred browser, EdgeDeflector will detect your system default.

Here’s a copy and paste from the post installation page (which may open in Edge).

  1. Open the Windows Settings app.
  2. Go to Apps: Default apps.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click Choose default apps by protocol.
  4. Locate MICROSOFT-EDGE in the list and click on the program icon to the right of it.
  5. Select EdgeDeflector from the list. Confirm the change if asked to.

If you like this tool as much as me, then go buy the author a coffee here.

I’m not sure how long this will keep working given that Microsoft have been behaving like complete dicks by actively ignoring your browser preferences and instead opening Edge at every chance they get. The latest to hit me was the sudden appearance of a “News and Interests” app next to my system tray after doing a Windows 10 update. It’s annoying that something has changed on my desktop that I haven’t asked for or actively installed, but okay I’ll give it a quick look before removing it. I immediately found that when you click anything in this app it opens with Edge. That then prompted me to go searching to find something that would stop this overbearing behaviour. I shouldn’t have to do this, but MS still seem to think they stand a chance in the browser wars.

(Incidentally, Edge brings my dad’s 3 year old PC to a halt by using all the CPU – a Celeron something-or-other with 4GB RAM – plenty for what he needs the PC for. I bought him the PC because he likes to browse stuff and troll family and friends. At some point a Windows update had changed his browser preference to Edge and essentially rendered his perfectly good browsing PC to a piece of junk. It took me 15 minutes to change the settings back as I had to wait until Edge closed, but next time I visit in a couple of weeks, I’m installing EdgeDeflector so that Edge isn’t a problem for him any more.)


Microsoft have annoyed me many times over the years with their aggressive behaviour and unwanted changes, and their behaviour hasn’t seem to have matured. They’ve wasted countless hours of everybody’s lives.

Posted by PPlank in General