Microsoft Introduces Windows Driver to Lock Default Browser Settings and Comply with Digital Markets Act

  1. Microsoft is preventing users from changing the default browser in Windows 10 and 11 through software or manual Registry modifications.
  2. A new Windows driver (UCPD.sys) was introduced in February updates for Windows 10 (KB5034763) and Windows 11 (KB5034765) to lock down Registry keys.
  3. The new driver prevents direct editing of Registry keys associated with HTTP, HTTPS URL associations, and .PDF file association.
  4. The driver can be disabled by adding a new DWORD value in the Registry and rebooting the system.
  5. This change may be related to complying with Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) to ensure fair competition and prevent anti-competitive practices.
  6. Despite locked Registry settings, Windows may still open operating system links in Microsoft Edge, as observed in BleepingComputer’s tests.
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