How to Make IE11 the Default Browser in Windows

If you aren't happy with your browser, change it

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Anytime a web browser is needed in Windows, the default option usually launches. If Firefox is your default browser, for example, clicking on a link in an email causes Firefox to open and go to the appropriate URL. You can set Internet Explorer 11 to be the default browser if you prefer. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open your IE11 browser.

  2. Click on the Gear icon located in the upper right corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, click Internet Options to open the Internet Options dialog box overlaying the browser window.

  3. Click on the Programs tab. The first section in this window is labeled Opening Internet Explorer. To designate IE11 as your default browser, click on the button labeled Make Internet Explorer the default browser.

  4. The Set Default Programs interface, part of the Windows Control Panel, should now be visible. Select Internet Explorer from the Programs list, found in the left menu pane. Click on the Set this program as default link.

Note that you can also configure IE11 to only open certain file types and protocols by clicking on the Choose defaults for this program link found at the bottom of the Set Default Programs window.

IE11 is now the default browser. Click OK to return to your main browser window.

How to Locate Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10

The default web browser in Windows 10 is the new Microsoft Edge browser. If you have trouble locating IE11 in Windows 10, select Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories.

Changing the Default Browser in Windows 10

To change the default browser to IE11:

  1. Select the Start button.

  2. Type Default app settings.

  3. Select Default app settings in the search results.

  4. Under Web Browser, choose the current browser — Microsoft Edge or another browser — and then select IE11.