Change the default web browser on Mac

How to change default web browser application on Mac computers?

Safari application is the default web browser on all Apple production, including Mac computers, such as iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, Mac pro MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, also mobile devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with mobile version of Safari. However, your not a fan of this app interface or functionality, you prefer using one of alternative software, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera? This is frequent case for people, that recently switched from Windows world to Mac.

There is no restrictions while talking about amount of similar applications installed within Mac operating system, however, having additional application does not change your default settings, this means whenever you try to open an URL shortcut or external link, it will be loaded through Safari application. Good news, that there is few simple methods, that allows you to choose the software, that should open URL shortcuts and external links. There might be some other reasons to change the browser, for example, due to various circumstances it might work slower than the alternative software. Another common reason to choose using another web browser might be extensions, that is necessary for user, but unfortunately unavailable on Safari application. Each user might have it's own reasons to change the default web browser, in this article we will describe methods how to switch default web browser.


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Change default web browser on modern Mac OS

Starting with the OS X Yosemite 10.10 Apple has decided to move the default web browser option to System Preferences and this setting remains there on all newer version. This decision made path to choose your web browser more logical, however people, that uses Apple production for a long time might be a little bit confused. To change the default web browser on modern version of Mac operating system, click on Apple logo in the menu bar at top of your screen, then select System Preferences. When new window appears click on General, under this pane look for drop-down menu next to statement 'Default web browser', click the menu and choose the desired application. Note: in order to switch between default web browsers, at least one of alternatives must be installed to your computer, this means before you can change the application, you have to install Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or any other. Any available web browser application will be listed within this drop-down menu.


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Change default web browser on earlier Mac OS X

Default web browser changing on earlier versions of Mac operating system might look a little bit confusing and not logic, however it requires to launch Safari application, despite the fact, that you're going to use an alternative application. This is your case if your Mac is running on OS X Mavericks 10.9 or any earlier version. To switch between default web browsers, first launch Safari app, then click on Safari in the menu bar at top of your screen then select Preferences, alternatively you may press the keyboard shortcut of Command and Comma (,). In the newly appeared window select the General tab, locate drop-down menu next to Default web browser and select the program, that you desire to use. Close the preferences window and quit Safari application. From this point your computer will open URL shortcuts and other external links with software you have set. Additionally, most of web browsing applications offers you to automatically set that particular program as default, usually at each launch of the application, unless you've disabled the suggestions. In case you've agreed to set automatically and desire to change back the default web browser, you have to repeat the procedure via Safari's preferences.

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Alternative method to change default browser on Mac

Last and probably least accurate method would be to set application as default web browser through it's settings automatically. As it was mentioned above, usually web browsing software suggests to turn it to default app automatically, however, there is a way to accept this suggestion manually, in case you have declined the suggestion before. On the other hand, this method may not work due to various restrictions to perform changes within your system preferences.

  • To set Google Chrome as default browser, launch it and click on three vertical dots in the top right corner of the window, then select settings, alternatively you may type chrome://settings in the address field. Once the new window opens, scroll down till you find the Default browser section, click Make default and application automatically makes it default web browser.
  • If you desire to set Mozilla Firefox as default web browser, launch it and click on three bars icon in the top right corner of the window, then select Preferences, alternatively you may type about:preferences in the address field. Select General section from the left side bar and at top of the current window look for Firefox is not your default browser message and at right side click Make Default. Application automatically makes it default web browser.
  • In order to set Opera as default web browser, open the app and click on Opera menu, then select Preferences. In the newly opened page, ensure the Basic section is selected on the left sidebar. Click the option, Make Opera my default browser.

As you can see, the path to make default option is quite similar on all web browsers, if you're using any that was not mentioned here, you need to open the applications preferences and lock for this option under general tab.

Video Showing how to change default web browser on Mac

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