Microsoft Locks Down Browser Choices with New Windows Update

April 8, 2024
Microsoft Locks Down Browser Choices with New Windows Update
  • Microsoft has released a 'User Choice Protection Driver' in its February updates for Windows 10 and 11, barring users from changing the default browser settings outside of Windows options.

  • The driver secures Registry keys to prevent edits to URL and file associations through any means other than the Windows settings interface.

  • IT consultant Christoph Kolbicz discovered the issue when his software tools, aimed at altering default browser settings, ceased functioning.

  • Although the driver can be disabled in the Registry, a scheduled system task is designed to re-enable it automatically.

  • The driver's introduction may be an attempt to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act, but its application in the USA, which is not subject to the DMA, casts doubt on this rationale.

  • Microsoft has yet to provide an official statement explaining the motivation behind the new restrictions on changing browser settings.

Summary based on 1 source

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