How to Change the Default Browser on a Mac

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Bernard Perron
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You are probably reading this because you are one of the millions of consumers who use a Mac computer for business or personal purposes. Although the PC works exceptionally well, your default browser can cause nasty compatibility issues when visiting certain websites. You may find that some pages are slow to load, if at all, and the constant need to open different browsers can be a waste of your time..

You don't have to use the browser that comes preinstalled on your Mac. Save time by replacing your default browser with one that will work consistently. It's easier than you think, as you'll see as you read on.

Change Default Browser on Mac to Chrome

Although there are dozens of web browsers to choose from, Google Chrome is a good choice if you use Google apps frequently. Apps will work better since Chrome is Google's browser. You will first need to download the Google Chrome app for Mac to replace it with your default browser. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Google Chrome download website. Tap "Download Chrome".
  2. Select the Mac chip on your device. If you don't know which chip to choose, go to "Apple Menu". Then tap "About This Mac".
  3. If the app does not download automatically, select "Download Chrome manually".
  4. Open the "https://googlechrome.dmg" file once the download is complete.
  5. Drag the folder with the Chrome icon to your Applications folder or desktop.
  6. Tap the folder to start the installation.

Wait for the installation process to complete. When done, change your default browser to Google Chrome. It only takes a few minutes to do so, by following these steps:

  1. Tap the Apple icon (at the top left corner of your screen).
  2. Open "System Preferences".
  3. Select “General”.
  4. Tap "Default Web Browser" from the drop-down menu.
  5. Choose Chrome from the list of browsers.

If Chrome opens automatically after installation, you can also make the change directly from the Google Chrome browser.

  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Select "Chrome" at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose “Preferences”.
  4. Scroll down to "Default browser".
  5. Select "Default".
  6. Tap "Use Chrome" to confirm your selection in the pop-up window.

Your default browser change is now complete. From then on, all links you click on online will open in Google Chrome.

A useful feature of Google Chrome is that it automatically syncs all your devices once you sign into Google. Your history and bookmarks will be synced across all your devices as long as you use the same Google Account. However, you don't need to wait for the devices to sync to finish before changing the default browser to Chrome.

Change Default Browser on Mac to Safari

Your Mac computer defaults to the Safari web browser when you first set up the device. It is designed to work specifically with Apple devices. However, you can switch back to Safari if you've switched to another browser. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Apple menu (the fruit icon) at the top of your screen.
  2. Choose "Default Web Browser" in the pop-up window.
  3. Select Safari from the list.

All links you click should open in Safari until you change the default browser. You should have little to no problems with Safari. However, you can use these troubleshooting tips if you run into a problem.

  • Check your internet connection.
  • Reloads the page.
  • Install all available Apple software dates. Make sure to include Safari extensions.

If none of these suggestions work, clearing the cache of the device may fix the problem. There may be data in your cache that is causing problems. Here's how to clear your Safari browser's cache:

  1. Tap Safari (top left of the screen).
  2. Choose the "Privacy" tab in the pop-up window.
  3. Tap "Delete all website data".
  4. Select "Remove Now" to confirm.

Apple suggests you try all the solutions above first to fix Safari browser issues. More often than not, they will be effective in fixing various Mac and Safari issues, including:

  • Blank screen after loading webpage
  • Partial loading of pages
  • Unable to log in with the correct login credentials
  • Safari becomes unresponsive or slow
  • The webpage asks you to reset or delete cookies

If you need additional help, you can visit the Apple Safari support website. There you will find tons of information and instructions for using all the features of the Safari browser. Plus, the comprehensive online user guide can answer all your other Safari and Mac questions.

Change Default Browser on Mac to Firefox

You may be more comfortable with the Firefox browser if you recently switched from Android to Apple iOS. The good news is that you can change your default browser to a more familiar one. All you have to do is download the Firefox for Mac app first, then follow a few steps.

Here's how to download the app:

  1. Visit the Firefox for Mac application download web page. The page will detect your device and recommend a version to use.
  2. Press "Download Firefox". You will have the option to change the language if you wish.
  3. The Firefox.dmg file will open once the download is complete.
  4. Drag the file (Firefox icon) from the "Finder" pop-up folder to the "Applications" folder.
  5. Hold the "Ctrl" key and click to eject Firefox.

You can immediately run Firefox when the download steps are complete. However, running it first may lead to data loss.

Also, you can add the app to your dock for easy access. To do this, open the "Applications" folder and drag Firefox to the dock.

Then it's time to change the default browser on your device. There are two ways to do this. You can change the browser from the Mac desktop or change the default browser from the Firebox browser.

Here are the steps to change your default browser to Firefox:

  1. Tap the Apple icon and select "System Preferences" from the menu.
  2. Select “General”.
  3. Choose "Default web browser".
  4. Select Firefox from the list of browsers.

If Firefox is already open, you can just as easily make this change from the browser as follows:

  1. Launch Firefox and select "Firefox" from the header menu.
  2. Tap "Preferences".
  3. Select "General", then press "Start".
  4. A "Firefox is not your default browser" prompt will appear.
  5. Select “Use Firefox”.

All web links and files will open in Firefox after this change. If you decide to switch browsers again, you can follow the same steps as above. Simply replace Firefox with any browser on your computer from the "Default Web Browser" list.

Optimal options

Why waste time and patience on incompatible browser issues? You bought an Apple Mac computer to ensure you get the best PC performance possible. So, maximize your device's potential quickly and easily by switching to the default browser of your choice.

Do you have a browser preference on your Mac computer? Let us know if you changed to this browser or if it was pre-installed.

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