Setting Default Browser in Windows 10

A controversial topic presented by Mozilla (developers of Firefox) said that it was “disturbing” that Microsoft was being would change the default browser preference when Windows 10 is installed. I wrote a Twitter comment that stated Mozilla should “get over it”. Others said the same thing. I appreciate that Microsoft said they would leave this open for change based on user feedback. I like this stand by Microsoft and I stand by my own statement. Innovation and improvements based on user feedback and experiences should be a core goal of software companies. Microsoft has provided a new browser, Edge, and I think everyone should give it a test drive.

Helping people to perform basic Windows functions is something I need to know. It takes a bit of time and effort to negotiate the new Windows menus to find where to set the default applications so I set out to document and provide simple instructions on changing your Windows 10 default web browser back to something else, whatever it may be.

I like using Microsoft Edge, it’s simplicity, basic features, and speed. For example, I really like the Book icon on the toolbar that minimizes the contents of the current web page by removing extra assets (photos, videos, ads, etc.) and makes reading even easier and faster.

Setting Default Windows Browser

This instruction can be followed on all Windows 10 versions.

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Scroll down the list and choose “Default apps”
  4. Scroll to find “Web browser”
  5. Click the currently selected web browser, by default it’s “Edge”
  6. Pick a browser application from the drop-down list
  7. Close (X) the windows to save your changes

When you open your favorite browser enough times, they can recognize this frequent action and ask if you want to set the default. If this happens, it’s a way to set it, but we hope this instruction will give you the step by step so it’s not hidden to you when it does it.

This completes the instruction we hope it was helpful.

Reset Default apps to original system preferences

If you want to reset the default applications to the system installed preferences, click the Reset button at the bottom of the “Default apps” window.

Manage Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

Now that Windows 10 has introduced the new light-weight and fast browser called Edge, it has reset a few settings. We personally love the new browser and it gives a lot of slim and slender features and choices. Although we like it, we would encourage you to try Edge for a few weeks to see how you like it. These are instructions to help add a new search engine because it’s not intuitive.

These instructions help to do the following:

  • Register/add a new search engine
  • Set a default search engine
  • Remove a search engine

Prepare by loading a search engine to register

  1. Open the Edge browser
  2. The first most important step is to have your search page already loaded in an Edge tab if you are registering a new search engine, if you are setting a new default or removing, you can skip to the next section.
    1. Click your mouse in the top “hidden” area next to the Refresh circle, this is where prior browser text boxes are located. When you blindly click in that area, the URL/Search text box will appear. As a note: we haven’t really liked this “hiding” of the URL/search box, but it does make the page look more simple.
  3. In the URL/Search box type the search page of your choice and load it, repeat this step in a separate tab for as many search engines you want to register.
  4. Here are our favorites (including Bing, but it’s the default already). Click the links below to load them in a new tab:
    5. and other search engine choices by Wikipedia

Manage search engines

This may be easier if you Pin the Advanced Settings to the right side of the Edge window area. This is done by clicking on the Pin in the top-right corner when you have clicked on step 3.

  1. Click on the ellipses menu button at the top-right of the Edge toolbar
  2. Click the Settings menu option
  3. Click on the View Advanced Settings button at the bottom of the list
  4. Find the entry “Search in the address bar with”, click the drop-down and choose “<Add new>”
  5. A list of all search engines you’ve previously registered or recently loaded in separate tabs will appear
  6. For each entry, click it and choose to Add as default or Add or Remove
  7. This will take you back to the previous page, repeat the process starting with step 4

As we mentioned, it’s not very intuitive to have the search engines loaded in separate tabs first but we hope this is a worthwhile instruction.


EC2 and SQL Server Micro

As we are learning the new EC2 Amazon Cloud Services, I am compelled to post a “how to” when setting up and connecting to an AWS EC2 SQL Server box. This will answer many questions for others so they can get around the few issues that will creep up when Launching a new EC2 SQL instance. This same information can be used for other server launches too. Continue reading

Fix: HP Mediacenter Blu-ray Error

Use this link to find a software update for the HP Media Center by Cyberlink for playing Blu-ray DVDs when and if you are getting the message that you need to update your DVD software/hardware. The error message on the computer states you need to visit the site and perform an update of your DVD blu-ray hardware and software; but the problem lies in it not detecting any software to download.

Use the link to find the free patch to update your machine and get it working again. In short, this worked!

  1. follow the link
  2. download the software
  3. begin the installation
  4. answer the questions to uninstall the old HP Mediacenter software and install the new
  5. start the Mediacenter

The disc was recognized and started playing the movie. Finally!

The Long of the Story

I bought the X Men trilogy blu-ray for my wife for Mother’s Day and tried playing it in our HP Pavilion dv7-1273cl laptop. It didn’t work. It initially started when I had previlus model of HP laptop in December of 2008, but the fan failed. I returned it and purchased a more updated model. Now having the fan taken care of the same problem still existed for the DVDs.

But, thanks to this posting on the HPs forums I found the link to take care of it.

Originally, we bought Horton and it didn’t work. I bought Batman, it worked. I now bought X Men and it didn’t work … consistently. Now that I’ve done the patch, all of them, so far, are working.

Hope this helped you out too.

Ungrouping Taskbar Applications

In recent versions of Windows there exists the option to group your applications on the Taskbar. This is expected to reduce the amount of windows on the screen. To reduce clutter. It’s helped me, but at times, I can’t tell which window is which, or I want to compare side by side and it’s clumsy to do it with grouping on. So here’s how you ungroup the similar applications on the Taskbar.

1) Right-click on your Taskbar
2) Click Properties menu item
3) Make the Taskbar tab active
4) Untick the Group similar taskbar buttons

If you have a handy tip that you’d like to share, please forward it to us.

Conficker Virus

This virus is rather nasty. It has been deemed one of the worst virus’ since the SQL Slammer of 2003. Which in similar fashion will flood networks with requests that then cause systems to perform much slower. Some actions you can take to protect your systems is to make sure you have the latest Microsoft security patches and updates. There is no information that this virus infects or has any problems with UBUNTU or MAC systems, but there is no more clear warning than to make sure you have all the latest updates to your software and antivirus databases. Continue reading

USB Dead After Vista Update

Have you recently performed an update on your machine that includes a patch from Microsoft (KB938371) that has suddenly disabled your USB ports, possibly your bluetooth, and making virtually any of your devices to stop interacting with your computer?

This happened to me and I wanted to do what we do best, get all the information together and provide a solution. I truly read through about 15 to 20 blogs where there were no less than 20 entries to try and find a solution. Some people supplied solutions. I tried almost all of them, but didn’t fix it, at least not my problem.

Continue reading


Wow, the differences between the Firewire standards really have me up in arms. I’m a little disappointed with Apple for not making the Firewire 800 (1394b – 9pin) plug available on my MacBook. Because, it’s been out for a while, and the speed is amazing, up to 700 MB/sec. That’s up from the 100, 200, and 400 speeds of Firewire 400 (1394a).

I wanted to get the new Lexar Professional UDMA 300x speed Compact Flash card for my DSLR and I’m finding out a few things needed to make this all work.

First, my Nikon D70s doesn’t transfer at the 300x speed and not many new cameras do. The camera will still use the CF and at the highest rate the UDMA will allow for the cameras slot. That’s OK, I wanted to get the images downloaded off the card as fast as possible. So, I had to get all the components together that would allow the fast possible speed, yet be a complete high-speed set so when the time comes to upgrade the other devices, everything is at it’s peak.

The components required from photo shoot to post-processing are the following.

Camera to memory card to memory card reader to computer

Each of these have different transfer rates. The Camera (CF) being about 70x, the memory card reader (9 pin 1394b Firewire) is 300x, the computer (Apple Macbook 6 pin 1394a Firewire) is about 150x.

Because the Lexar camera reader has 9 pin 1394b Firewire connections and the Macbook has 6 pin 1394a Firewire connections. I am having to find an adapter that bridges this connection “disconnect”.

Turn On/Off Indenting Bullets in MS Office

Have you accidentally turned off the ability to indent your bullets with tab and shift-tab? I did. And it was a very obscure solution to turn it back on. Here is the Word 2007 version to turn it back on (or off, if you’re having troubles getting the formatting just right). The Office Button is where you open/save/print files and find other Word options.

Office Button | Word Options | AutoCorrect Options | AutoFormat As You Type: “Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces