Microsoft Edge with angry face.

There’s a browser war raging right now, and Microsoft has a clear advantage over the competition that it’s not afraid to exploit. This leaves tools like MSEdgeRedirect to try to fight Microsoft’s questionable tactics, but in the case of this tool, we don’t recommend using it.

Microsoft has decided to make certain links in Windows always open in Edge, which makes it hard for us to recommend the browser. Specifically, links in News, Search, Widgets, Weather, and a few other places won’t open in your default browser.

Mozilla Firefox, Brave, and a tool called EdgeDeflector were able to get around these links by directing them to your default browser instead of Microsoft Edge. However, Microsoft called workarounds like these improper, and it blocked them, leaving using scrambling for a new way to get around Edge and open these types of links in their default browser.

Enter MSEdgeRedirect, a new tool that runs in the background, grabs those pesky “microsoft-edge” links from News, Widgets, and other apps, and opens them in your default browser. This cuts Edge out of the process. It all sounds great, but we can’t recommend it at this point.

The big issue is that the tool has to run in the background at all times to do its job. Because Microsoft blocked the original method, the developer of MSEdgeRedirect had to get creative to make their tool work, and it appears this was the only method they found to get it done.

We could probably let that slide, but the software triggering a warning with Microsoft SmartScreen that blocks it from running is a little concerning. After all, it is a piece of software that you intend to leave running 24/7 for it to accomplish its goal.

I tested it on my computer, and it seems harmless enough. However, is deflecting Edge links the few times you click them from Windows 11 worth running another piece of software in the background worthwhile?

That’s obviously for you to decide, but I’m going to uninstall it, and on the off chance that I encounter a “microsoft-edge” link, I’ll just deal with being outside of my comfort zone for a few minutes.

RELATED: Vivaldi CEO on Microsoft Edge: "Can You Say Monopoly?"

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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