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How to change your default browser on a Mac computer

  • You can change the default browser on Mac in System Preferences or your browser’s settings page. 
  • Macs set Safari as the default browser, but you can change it to any other browser, like Chrome. 
  • When you change your default browser, any links you click will open in your preferred browser. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Mac computers come with Apple’s Safari web browser pre-set as the default browser. This means that Safari will open automatically when you click certain links, even if you don’t want it to. 

While Safari is a fast web browser and works well for most web needs, there are drawbacks to using it. One of these drawbacks is that for some websites, other browsers can be faster — for example, Google Apps work better in Google’s own browser, Chrome. Other websites might not work with Safari at all. 

You can change your Mac’s default web browser through System Preferences or through the browser itself — here’s how to do both. 

How to change the default browser on Mac from System Preferences 

1. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting System Preferences in the drop-down.

Screenshot of Apple icon drop-down list

Select “System Preferences” to open it.

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2. In System Preferences, click General in the top-left corner.

Screenshot of Mac System Preferences

Go to “General” in System Preferences.

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3. On the General page, click the drop-down next to Default Web Browser.

Screenshot of Mac System Preferences General page

Click the drop-down next to “Default web browser.”

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4. All web browsers downloaded on your computer will appear in the drop-down list. Choose one to set it as your default. Now, whenever you click on a link to open it, it will automatically appear in your chosen browser. 

How to change your default browser on Mac from the browser’s settings 

There are dozens of different web browsers you could be using, and the exact method for setting them as your default browser is slightly different for each. Here, we’ll use Google Chrome as an example.

1. Open Chrome.

2. In the toolbar at the very top of your screen, click Chrome and select Preferences in the drop-down. 

Screenshot of Chrome toolbar drop-down list

Under “Chrome,” select “Preferences.”

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3. Scroll down to the Default browser section and click Make default.

Screenshot of Chrome Preferences page, Default Browser section

Click “Make default.”

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4. A window will pop up asking if you want to Keep [browser] as your default or Use Chrome. Choose Use Chrome.

Screenshot of "Use Chrome" pop-up window

Click “Use ‘Chrome.'”

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