How To Change the Default Browser on a Mac
You are probably reading this because you are among the millions of consumers who use a Mac computer for business or personal use. Although the PC performs exceptionally well, your default browser may cause unpleasant compatibility issues when you visit 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 time.
You don’t have to use the browser that came pre-installed on your Mac. Save some time by changing your default browser to one that will work consistently. It’s easier than you might think, as you will see when you keep reading.
Change Default Browser on Mac to Chrome
Although you can choose from dozens of web browsers, Google Chrome is a good pick if you use Google apps frequently. The apps will work better since Chrome is Google’s browser. You will have to download the Google Chrome for Mac app first to change it to your default browser. Here are the steps:
- Go to the Google Chrome download website. Tap “Download Chrome.”
- 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.”
- If the app doesn’t download automatically, select “Download Chrome Manually.”
- Open the file “https://googlechrome.dmg” when the download is complete.
- Drag the folder with the Chrome icon to your Applications folder or desktop.
- Tap the folder to start the installation.
Wait for the installation process to complete. When it finishes, change your default browser to Google Chrome. It takes just a few minutes to do this, following these steps:
- Tap the Apple icon (in the top-left corner of your screen).
- Open “System Preferences.”
- Select “General.”
- Tap the “Default Web Browser” in the drop-down menu.
- 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.
- Sign in to your Google account.
- Select “Chrome” at the top of the screen.
- Choose “Preferences.”
- Scroll down to “Default Browser.”
- Select “Make Default.”
- Tap “Use Chrome” to confirm your selection in the pop-up window.
Now your default browser change is complete. From that point, any links you click online will open in Google Chrome.
One helpful Google Chrome feature is it automatically syncs all of your devices once you sign into Google. Your history and favorites will sync across all of your devices as long as you use the same Google account. However, you don’t have to wait for the devices to finish syncing 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 set up the device for the first time. It is designed to work with Apple devices specifically. However, you can change back to Safari if you’ve switched to another browser. Here’s how:
- Tap the Apple menu (the fruit icon) at the top of your screen.
- Choose “Default Web Browser’ from the pop-up window.
- Select Safari from the list.
Any links that you click should open in Safari until you change the default browser. You should have few if any, issues with Safari. However, you can use these troubleshooting tips if you do run into an issue.
- Check your internet connection.
- Reload the page.
- Install any Apple software dates that are available. Be sure to include Safari extensions.
If none of these suggestions work, clearing the device’s cache could fix the problem. There may be data in your cache that is causing problems. Here’s how to clear the cache in your Safari browser:
- Tap Safari (top-left side of the screen).
- Choose the “Privacy” tab in the pop-up window.
- Tap “Remove All Website Data.”
- Select “Remove now” to confirm.
Apple suggests that you initially try all of the solutions above to resolve Safari browser issues. Most often, they will be effective in solving a variety of Mac and Safari issues, including:
- Blank screen after the webpage loads
- Partial pages loading
- Not able to sign in with the correct login information
- Safari stops responding or slows down
- The webpage asks you to reset or remove cookies
If you need further help, you can visit the Apple Safari support website. There you will find tons of information and instructions to use all of the Safari browser features. Additionally, the complete online user guide can answer any other questions you have about Safari and Mac.
Change Default Browser on Mac to Firefox
It’s possible you may be more comfortable using the Firefox browser if you recently changed to Apple iOS from Android. The good news is that you can change your default browser to one that is more familiar. All you need to do is download the Firefox for Mac app first and then complete a few steps.
Here is how you download the app:
- Visit the Firefox for Mac app download webpage. The page will detect your device and recommend a version to use.
- Tap “Download Firefox.” You will have an option to change the language if you want.
- The Firefox.dmg file will open when the download is complete.
- Drag the file (the Firefox icon) from the pop-up “Finder” folder to the “Applications” folder.
- Hold the “Control” key and click to eject Firefox.
You can immediately run Firefox when the download steps are complete. However, running it beforehand may result in 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.
Next, 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 within the Firebox browser.
Here are the to change your default browser to Firefox:
- Tap the Apple icon and select “System Preferences” from the menu.
- Select “General.”
- Choose “Default Web Browser.”
- 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:
- Launch Firefox and select “Firefox” from the menu in the header.
- Tap “Preferences.”
- Select “General,” then tap “Startup.”
- A “Firefox is not your Default Browser” prompt will appear.
- Select “Use Firefox.”
All links and web-based files will open in Firefox after this change. Should you decide to change browsers again, you can follow the same steps as above. Simply substitute Firefox with any browser on your computer from the “Default Web Browser” list.
Why lose time and patience because of incompatible browser issues? You purchased 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.