Microsoft Paves the Way for Smoother Default App Switching in Windows 11

Microsoft Paves the Way for Smoother Default App Switching in Windows 11

Table of Content

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind Microsoft’s recent changes to its default app settings and app pinning features in Windows 11, aimed at streamlining user experience.

Key takeaways:

  • Microsoft is making significant changes to the way Windows 11 manages default apps and app pinning.
  • New Settings deep link URI scheme and API will help developers and users navigate app settings more efficiently.
  • The changes should improve overall user experience and adaptability to Windows 11.

Microsoft Revamps Default App Management and Pinning in Windows 11

Promising a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, Microsoft is rolling out significant changes to how Windows 11 handles default app settings and app pinning. 

These updates aim to resolve issues that arose after the transition to Windows 11 and create a more mobile-device-like experience for users.

Easier Access to Settings with a Deep Link URI Scheme

Developers will soon be able to direct users straight to the relevant spot in Settings to modify default apps for specific file or link types. 

This new Settings deep link URI scheme will make adjusting default app settings more efficient and user-friendly.

Streamlined App Pinning with a New API

Microsoft is also testing a new API that allows apps to pin primary or secondary tiles to the taskbar. 

The company describes this update as “a principled approach to app pinning and app defaults in Windows.” 

This enhancement should encourage the development of new widgets and interfaces, making frequently used program information more readily accessible.

Leading by Example with Microsoft Edge Integration

Getting developers to adopt new Windows features can be challenging. 

However, Microsoft plans to lead the way by integrating the new menus into its Edge browser as soon as they become available.

Addressing the Messy Default App Situation in Windows 11

The launch of Windows 11 was marred by a convoluted process for setting default programs, drawing criticism from users and competing browser developers alike. 

Microsoft has since released an update to simplify default browser switching, and the introduction of deep links and a standardized app pinning menu should further enhance user experience.

Coming Soon to Windows 11

Microsoft will be rolling out these new features in the coming months, starting with the Dev channel Windows Insider Preview builds. 

While developers are not required to adopt these changes immediately, Microsoft will block “unrequested modifications to a user’s choices” later in the year, after developers have had time to incorporate the new best practices.


Microsoft’s upcoming changes to default app settings and app pinning in Windows 11 should provide a more seamless experience for users. 

As these features are introduced and adopted by developers, Windows 11 users can expect a more consistent and enjoyable user experience.


Written by

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling is a renowned financial writer with over 10 years in the finance sector. With a strong economics background, he simplifies complex financial topics for a wide audience. Alexander contributes to top financial platforms and is working on his first book to promote financial independence.

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Judith Harvey is a seasoned finance editor with over two decades of experience in the financial journalism industry. Her analytical skills and keen insight into market trends quickly made her a sought-after expert in financial reporting.