Ever wondered how to change the default browser (the browser that opens when you click a link in an email or try to open an HTML file stored on your computer)?
It’s quite easy actually.
Most Windows based computer systems come with Internet Explorer set as the default browser.
As you surf the internet and become a more experienced computer user you may find another web browser that you would like to try out. You may have downloaded and install it to try out first. When the new browser was being installed it might have asked if you wished to make it the default browser. You answered no at the time because you wanted to try it out first. Each time you opened the new browser it might have asked you if you wanted to make it the default browser and if you answered no, and clicked the don’t ask me again the new browser will just open when activated. Now you have decided that yes, I want to use this browser as my default web browser. So what do you do?
Each browser will have a different way to set it as the default browser after installation. At the top of the browser window there is a menu with words (assuming you haven’t hidden it) like File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools and Help. Click each and a menu will appear. Look for something that refers to Preferences, Settings or Options and click it. Under this section of the browser you have to look for where it lets you set the browser as the default browser. There might be an checkbox beside “… should check to see if it is the default browser.” or just a button or checkbox to make the change.
Here’s an example setting Firefox as the default web browser:
Change Default Browser to Firefox
- Open the Firefox web browser.
- From the top menu (toolbar) select Tools then Options.
Options window appears.
- In the top left of the Options window is a catagory called Advanced, click it.
The General tab should be selected.
- At the bottom of the General tab is a section called System Defaults. Within this section is a check box in front of Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup. Click in that box to select.
- Click the Ok button at the bottom of the Options window.
The Options window will close.
- Close the browser.
- Find an email with a link to a website or a web page on your computer to test with. When you click the link in the email the Firefox browser will open. Likewise if you open an HTML page that is stored on your computer the Firefox browser will open.
The procedure would be similar in any of the browsers. Find the Preferences or Options section of the browser and have the browser check that it is the default browser or there will be an option to set it as the default web browser.
Locating the Default Browser Setting
Above we showed how to set Firefox as the default browser on a computer. Here’s where the settings are located in some of the other major web browsers:
Tools, Internet Options, Programs, checkbox near the bottom to for Internet Explorer to check if it is the default browser.
Tools, Preferences, Advanced, Programs, Check if Opera is default browser on start up.
There are tons of web browsers available. We can’t cover them all here but hopefully you now have an idea on where to set the default browser for your computer.
Revised: January 31, 2012