Recently, Windows 11 introduced the new Widget tab. The Widget tab contains weather information, actions, reminders, emails and suggested news. At first glance, it looked like the Google Discover app to me. Either way, if you click on these news articles, Windows 11 automatically redirects you to Microsoft Edge.
Now, even after changing the default browser, the widget tab will always redirect you to Microsoft Edge. Start menu Deja vu! However, there is a quick fix to redirect Windows 11 widgets to Google Chrome or your default browser.
Table of Headings
WHAT IS THE WINDOWS 11 WIDGET TAB?
Microsoft put an end to the infamous Live Tiles with Windows 11. The widget tab can be seen as a replacement. It shows you the latest news, tips, weather, Microsoft apps, etc. On the widget bar.
As of now, it’s unclear whether third-party apps can also create widgets for Windows 11. However, there are a few suggestions that would be open to the world. We would have more clarity on this once Windows 11 launches for the general public at the end of 2021.
HOW TO REDIRECT WINDOWS 11 WIDGETS
To redirect Edge queries to your default browser, we need to install a small third-party extension called Edge Deflector. Edge Deflector is an open source tool that sits between the Widget menu and Microsoft Edge. Whenever you click on a widget, Edge Deflector collects the link and redirects it to your default browser. You can download it from the link below.
Download Edge Deflector from GitHub
- Download and install Edge Deflector.
- Now we need to configure it to handle the URL redirection of the Widget menu. To do this, go to the Default apps menu.
- Go to the bottom and click on the option Choose default apps by protocol.
- Next, find the MICROSOFT-EDGE key and click the Microsoft Edge icon next to it, then select Edge Deflector from the drop -down menu.
Now, whenever you click on a widget in the new Widgets tab, it will open in your default browser instead of Microsoft Edge. In my case, it’s Google Chrome.
WHAT CANNOT BE CHANGED
Now that we have customized the browser for the Widget menu, it is important to know what cannot be customized. First the recommendations. The recommendations come from MSN.com, and for now, you can’t switch to a third-party app like Google for recommendations.
Also, you can’t redirect search queries from MSN.com to Google, so you have to live with MSN’s suggestions in the Widgets tab.
CAN YOU CUSTOMIZE THE RECOMMENDATIONS?
Once you set up your new Windows 11 computer, you will find that the news suggested in the Windows 11 widgets are rather vague. It will get better over time as you use widgets and Windows 11 itself more. However, there is a way to tailor the recommendations to your interests.
If you don’t like a particular story, you can click the “x” button in the upper right corner. However, you can choose to hide it from your history. Additionally, you can also choose to ignore posts from a particular website.
In case you want to curate a list based on your interests, you can click on the meatball shaped menu in the top right corner. Then, click Manage interests. Now you can manage all your news interests like politics, sports, space, etc. The widgets will then provide you with news based on those interests.
I really liked the Windows 11 widget tab, but its future rests on third-party apps. Hope to see more widgets from your favorite note-taking apps, project management, CRM platforms, and third-party weather widgets, among others.