How to change the default web browser

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Pau Monfort
@paumonfort

Do you want your Windows PC to open shortcuts in Firefox, your Mac to load Chrome, or your iPhone to favor Edge? Here's how to change the default web browser on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android device. Every computer and mobile device comes with a default web browser. Windows 10 has Microsoft Edge, while Apple devices run Safari.


How to change the default web browser

On Android, the default could be Google Chrome, Samsung Internet, or something else, such as the stock Android browser prevalent in previous models. However, you don't need to stick to this default. By editing it, any web-based link or file you click will open in your favorite browser. Here's how to switch for each type of operating system and platform.



Set by the browser

Before accessing your device settings, go to the desired browser and set it as default. To do this in Google Chrome, for example, click on the three dots icon at the top right and go to Settings> Default Browser> Set as Default. In Firefox, click the hamburger icon in the top right and select Options. In the General section, click Imposta eat predefined.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with Edge, which received a Chromium-based overhaul in 2020. Of course, Microsoft recommends sticking with its browser, but you can change that. Open the Windows 10 Settings menu and go to Apps> Default apps. Scroll down and click on Web Browser and you can choose from Edge, Firefox, Chrome, IE, or another program that you can download from the Microsoft Store.


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Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, you are initially stuck with Internet Explorer as your default browser. Turn it off by opening the charms bar and clicking the Settings icon. In the Settings panel, click Change PC settings> Search and apps> Presets. From here, the process is similar to Windows 10; click the current default setting for the web browser and change it to the browser of your choice.

Windows 7

Microsoft stopped offering security updates to Windows 7 in January 2020, so you should consider upgrading to a more modern and secure operating system. If not, Internet Explorer is the default browser again, but the process for changing it is different than in Windows 10 and 8.1. Open Control Panel in icon view and select Default Programs> Set default programs. You can then select the browser you want to set as the default.

Note that the status indicates that the new default browser currently has X of a number of defaults. click on Set this program as the default and the state should change to indicate that the browser has all its default settings.


Mac OS

Changing the default web browser on a Mac is quick and easy. On the Mac, click the Apple menu at the top left of the screen, open System Preferences, and click the General icon. On the General screen, click the drop-down box next to Default Web Browser and change the selection to your favorite program.

iOS and iPadOS

In the past, Apple prevented you from changing the default browser on your iPhone or iPad, but this has changed with iOS 14 and iPadOS. To change the default from Safari to any other browser, go to Settings and select the browser you want, be it Chrome, Firefox or Edge. Tap the entry for the default browser app and select the browser you want to use.



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Android

The only way to set Google Chrome as the default web browser on Android is through the phone settings. These settings vary by manufacturer, but you can typically swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to access the Settings menu.



Look for an option that says Apps or Apps and Notifications. Open the list of installed apps and tap the entry for your favorite browser. Scroll down the information screen for the selected app, then tap "App browser" and select the new default setting.

Android browser, list of the best

To set Firefox as your default browser, tap the three-dot icon in the lower right corner of the app, then choose Settings and turn on the switch next to Set Firefox as your default browser. Tap the entry for the Browser app and change the default to Firefox.

For Edge, tap the three-dot icon and select Settings. Scroll down the Settings screen and tap Set default browser, then tap Set default browser from the pop-up window. This takes you to the phone's default app settings where you can select theapp browser to set a new default.


Further Reading:

  • How to change the default browser in Windows 10
  • How to prevent Microsoft Edge from opening PDF on Windows 10
  • How to edit email on iPhone
  • How to change the search engine in Microsoft Edge Chromium
  • Wi-Fi tutorial: how to connect to a Wifi network
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