How to Stop Microsoft Edge from Opening Links: A Comprehensive Guide

Microsoft Edge, the default web browser for Windows 10 and 11, has evolved significantly since its initial release. While it offers a plethora of features, some users find themselves frustrated by its tendency to automatically open links in the browser, even when they prefer using another program. This can be particularly annoying when you’re trying to download a file or open a specific application for a particular task.

This guide will walk you through various methods to effectively stop Microsoft Edge from opening links, empowering you to regain control over your web experience.

Understanding the Issue

Before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand why Microsoft Edge might be opening links despite your preferences. This behavior is often tied to the following factors:

  • Default Browser Setting: Edge might be set as your default browser, leading to it automatically handling all web-related actions.
  • File Associations: Microsoft Edge might be configured to open specific file types, such as PDF or ZIP files, even if you have other programs installed for handling them.
  • Extensions or Add-ons: Certain browser extensions or add-ons might be interfering with your link opening preferences, causing Edge to take over.

Method 1: Change Default Browser Settings

The most common reason Edge opens links is that it’s designated as your default browser. Changing the default browser setting to another program, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or even Internet Explorer, will stop Edge from automatically taking over.

Steps to Change Default Browser:

  1. Open Settings: Click the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and select “Settings.”
  2. Navigate to Apps: In the Settings window, click on “Apps.”
  3. Select Default Apps: Click on “Default apps” from the left menu.
  4. Choose your Preferred Browser: Under “Web browser,” click on the current browser (Edge) and select the browser you prefer from the list.

Once you’ve made this change, any links you click will open in your newly designated default browser.

Method 2: Modify File Associations

If you’re facing issues with specific file types opening in Edge, you’ll need to adjust the file associations. This process ensures that the correct program is used to open files of specific formats.

Steps to Modify File Associations:

  1. Open Settings: Click the Windows icon and select “Settings.”
  2. Navigate to Apps: Click on “Apps” from the left menu.
  3. Select Default Apps: Click on “Default apps” from the left menu.
  4. Choose File Type: Scroll down to the “Choose default apps by file type” section and locate the specific file type you want to modify, like “.pdf” or “.zip.”
  5. Select Preferred Program: Click on the current program (Edge) and choose the application you prefer from the list.

By modifying these file associations, you ensure that your desired program handles the specific file types, preventing Edge from opening them.

Method 3: Disable Browser Extensions

While less common, some browser extensions might be interfering with your link opening preferences. Disabling or uninstalling extensions that you don’t need can help resolve this issue.

Steps to Disable Extensions:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge: Launch the Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Access Extensions: Click on the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window and select “Extensions.”
  3. Disable or Uninstall: Go through the list of extensions and disable or uninstall any suspicious or unnecessary extensions that might be affecting your link behavior.

Remember to restart your browser after disabling or uninstalling extensions to ensure the changes take effect.

Method 4: Use Third-Party Applications

If you’re still struggling with Edge opening links, you can leverage third-party applications to gain more control over your link opening preferences. These applications can provide granular control over which program opens specific links.

Popular Third-Party Applications:

  • LinkShell Extension: This extension for Chrome and Firefox allows you to customize the default application for specific link types.
  • Default Programs Editor: This free tool allows you to easily change file associations and manage default programs on your Windows computer.
  • File Types Manager: This program helps you associate specific file types with different applications, providing greater flexibility in managing your file opening preferences.

Method 5: Manually Override Links

As a last resort, you can manually override links to open them in the desired program. This approach allows you to directly control which application is used for opening specific links, regardless of the default browser settings or file associations.

Steps to Manually Override Links:

  1. Right-click on the link: When you encounter a link you want to open in a specific program, right-click on it.
  2. Select “Open with”: From the context menu, choose “Open with.”
  3. Select the desired program: From the list of available programs, select the one you want to use to open the link.
  4. Check “Always use this app to open” (optional): Tick this box if you want the selected program to be used as the default for this specific link type in the future.

While this method requires manual intervention for each link, it provides a quick and effective way to open links in your preferred application.


Preventing Microsoft Edge from opening links requires identifying the root cause of the issue and implementing the appropriate solution. By changing default browser settings, modifying file associations, disabling extensions, utilizing third-party applications, or manually overriding links, you can regain control over your web experience and ensure that your preferred programs are used to open specific links. Remember to explore these options and tailor the solution to your specific needs for a seamless and personalized web browsing experience.


1. Why does Microsoft Edge keep opening links even after I’ve set another browser as default?

This issue often arises because Microsoft Edge is set as your default browser for specific file types or protocols. Windows associates certain file types (like .pdf or .doc) and protocols (like “mailto:” for email links) with specific browsers. Even if you’ve changed your default browser to something else, Edge might still be the designated browser for these specific actions. To resolve this, you need to ensure that your preferred browser is set as the default for all relevant file types and protocols.

2. How do I prevent Microsoft Edge from opening links automatically without changing my default browser?

You can achieve this by disabling the “Microsoft Edge is the default browser” setting within Edge itself. This allows you to use a different browser as your primary choice while still enabling Edge to handle certain functions like PDF viewing. By disabling this setting, you effectively prevent Edge from taking over link openings unless you specifically choose it.

3. Is there a way to disable Edge’s “Open with Edge” option in the context menu?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct option to remove the “Open with Edge” entry from the context menu. However, you can use third-party software solutions designed to customize context menus. These programs can allow you to selectively remove specific entries from the context menu, including the “Open with Edge” option, giving you greater control over how you interact with web links.

4. How do I stop Edge from opening links in a new tab instead of a new window?

By default, Edge opens new links in new tabs within the existing window. If you prefer a new window for each link, you can adjust this setting. Go to Edge’s settings and navigate to the “Default browser” section. Here, you’ll find the option to control how Edge handles new links, allowing you to switch from opening in tabs to opening in new windows.

5. Can I prevent Edge from opening links automatically when clicking on files in File Explorer?

Yes, you can prevent this behavior by changing the default file associations in Windows. Right-click on a file you want to open with a different browser, and choose “Open with.” From the list, select “Choose another app” and then pick your preferred browser. To make this change permanent for all files of that type, tick the “Always use this app to open…” box.

6. How do I ensure that Edge doesn’t interfere with my other browser’s extensions?

Edge’s extensions work independently from other browsers. They don’t directly affect extensions used in other browsers. However, if you encounter issues with website functionality or extension behavior after installing Edge extensions, it might be related to conflicting settings or scripts. Try disabling or uninstalling the Edge extension and see if it resolves the problem.

7. What should I do if I’ve tried everything but Edge still opens links?

If you’ve gone through all the steps mentioned and Edge continues to open links against your preference, it’s possible that you’re encountering a more complex issue. Consider reinstalling your preferred browser or performing a system scan for malware. If the problem persists, it’s advisable to contact your browser’s support team or a tech support professional for further assistance.

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