How to Change Your Default Web Browser
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. On Android, the default may be Google Chrome, Samsung Internet, or something else, like the stock Android browser prevalent in older models.
However, you don’t have to stick with that default. By changing it, any link or web-based file you click will open in your browser of choice. Here’s how to make the switch for each type of operating system and platform.
Set by Browser
Before navigating to your device’s settings, go to your desired browser and set it as the default. To do this in Google Chrome, for example, click the three-dot icon in the upper right and go to Settings > Default browser > Make default. In Firefox, click the hamburger icon in the upper right and select Options. In the General section, click Make default.
In Windows 10, Microsoft has replaced Internet Explorer with Edge, which received a Chromium-based overhaul in 2020. Naturally, Microsoft recommends that you stick with its browser, but you can change it. Open the Windows 10 Settings menu and navigate to Apps > Default Apps. Scroll down and click Web browser, and you can choose from Edge, Firefox, Chrome, IE, or another program you can download from the Microsoft Store.
In Windows 8.1, you’re initially stuck with Internet Explorer as the default browser. Switch it out by opening the Charms bar and clicking the Settings icon. At the Settings pane, click Change PC Settings > Search and apps > Defaults.From here, the process is similar to Windows 10; click the current default for Web browser and change it to the browser of your choice.
Microsoft ceased offering security updates to Windows 7 in January 2020, so you should consider upgrading to a more modern and secure OS. Otherwise, Internet Explorer is again the default browser, 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 your default programs. You can then select the browser you want set as the default.
Notice that the status indicates the new default browser currently has X of a certain number of defaults. Click Set this program as default, and the status should change to say that the browser has all its defaults.
Changing the default browser on a Mac is simple and quick. On your Mac, click the Apple menu in 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 preferred program.
iOS and iPadOS
In the past, Apple prevented you from changing the default browser on your iPhone or iPad, but that was changed with iOS 14 and iPadOS. To switch 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 Default Browser App and select the browser you wish to use.
The only way to set Google Chrome as the default web browser on Android is through the phone’s settings. These settings will differ depending on the manufacturer, but you can generally swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to enter the Settings menu.
Look for an option that says Apps or Apps & Notifications. Open the list of installed apps and tap the entry for your preferred browser. Swipe down the info screen for the selected app, then tap the “Browser app” entry and select the new default.
To set Firefox as the 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 Make Firefox your default browser. Tap the entry for Browser app and change the default to Firefox.
For Edge, tap the three-dot icon and select Settings. Swipe 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 apps settings where you can select Browser app to set a new default.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.