When Windows 10 won’t open links from your email in your browser

I have used Microsoft Outlook as my email client for years and I’m still using Outlook 2010, for the most part successfully. (To be honest, I have thought about switching to Mozilla Thunderbird but I haven’t yet found a way to transfer my existing emails and email archives from Outlook.)

Periodically, after an update of some kind or just seemingly out of the blue, clicking on a link in an email no longer opens that link in my default browser, Firefox. There are reports of the same thing happening in Chrome and Internet Explorer, as well as with links in the Windows 10 Mail app.

Yesterday, it happened again.

When this happened in the past, there was a quick and easy Microsoft Fix-It script that would resolve my problem. Of course, I went immediately to my trusty Fix-It script only to pop up a message that it would not work with Windows 10.

The next step was to google the problem for Windows 10. The suggested fixes I got through Google either didn’t work or seemed unnecessarily tedious and complicated. Not encouraging.

But there was a common thread, both in the old Microsoft Fix-It and in some of the suggestions from what Google found for me: Resetting the default browser to the Microsoft product (previously Internet Explorer, now Microsoft Edge in Windows 10).

I therefore tried the following:

  1. Exit from Firefox or your default browser.
  2. Go to Default Programs in Windows Settings or Control Panel.
  3. Select Microsoft Edge as your default browser.
  4. Click on the link in your email to make sure it opens a tab in Edge. Then close Edge.
  5. Restart Firefox (or your preferred default browser).
  6. Reset your default browser back to the one you prefer:
    • Under Options for your browser, select “Make Firefox (or Chrome, etc.) my default browser”; or
    • Go back to Default Programs in Windows Settings or Control Panel and reset the default there.

Now, click on the link in your email again. Voila! It should now open that link in your default browser. Functionality restored. And it didn’t even require a reboot!

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