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Published on February 13th, 2024 | by Sandy Writtenhouse

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How to Change the Default Web Browser on Windows and Mac

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Just like you have a favorite email application and one for your to-dos, you probably have a preferred web browser. To make sure that the links you open appear in the browser of your choice, here’s how to change the default web browser on both Windows and Mac.

Change the Default Browser Using Your Settings

The simplest way to change your default web browser is to use your computer’s settings. Whether you use Windows or Mac, here’s how to find the right spot.

Windows

Before you begin, make sure that you have the web browser installed on your Windows computer. Then, follow the steps below to set the default browser.

  1. Open the Settings using the Start menu.
  2. Select Apps and then pick Default apps on the left.
  3. Select your current browser and choose the new one (Windows 10) or pick the browser and click Set Default (Windows 11).
Browser selection for the default on Windows 10

Mac

Like on Windows, make sure that you have the web browser you want to use installed on your Mac. Then, follow these steps to change the default browser.

  1. Open the System Settings using the icon in your Dock or Apple icon in the menu bar.
  2. Select Desktop & Dock on the left.
  3. Move down to the Widgets section and use the drop-down list next to Default web browser to make your selection.
Browser selection for the default on Mac

On older versions of macOS, open System Preferences > General and use the drop-down list beside Default web browser.

Change the Default Browser Using the Browser

If you already have the browser open that you want to set as the default on your computer, you can do so directly from the web browser’s settings.

Note: Depending on your platform and browser, you may be directed to computer’s settings as described above.

Google Chrome

  1. Select the Customize and control Google Chrome icon (three lines) on the top right and pick Settings.
  2. Open the menu using the three lines on the top left and pick Default browser.
  3. Click Make Default below Default Browser.
Make Default button for Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Select the Open application menu icon (three lines) on the top right and pick Settings.
  2. Choose General on the left.
  3. Below General > Startup on the right, click Make Default.
Make Default button for Firefox

Microsoft Edge

  1. Select the Settings icon (gear) in the lower right corner or click the three dots at the top and pick Settings.
  2. Choose Default browser on the left.
  3. Click Make default on the right.
Make Default button for Edge

Safari

  1. Select Safari > Settings in the Mac menu bar.
  2. Go to the General tab.
  3. Click Set Default at the top. Note that you won’t see this default browser option if Safari is already set.
Make Default button for Safari

Opera

  1. Select the Easy setup icon (three lines) on the top right.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the drop-down window and click Make Opera default browser.
Make Default button for Opera in the dropdown
  1. If you already have the full Opera Settings page open, select Privacy & security on the left.
  2. Move down to the Default Browser section and click Make default.
Make Default button for Opera in the Settings

By setting your default web browser up front, you can save time from copying and pasting links from the other. Which web browser is your favorite? Or do you use different browsers depending on what you’re doing? Let us know!

For more, look at how to set your default home address in Google Maps.

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About the Author

has a BS in Information Technology and worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She then decided to follow her dream and now writes about technology full-time.



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