- On every Mac or Windows computer there's a setting for the default web browser. You can have several web browsers installed at the same time. Windows computers come with Internet Explorer preloaded and Macs come with Safari. So if you've installed Chrome on a Mac or Windows computer you have at least two browsers to choose from at any given time. But only one can be the default. So what's the significance of the default browser? Well, let me give you an example. I'm going to open up my mail and I've got an email message here with a link in it.
If I click on this link it'll open up a web page and I know it's a link because when I point my mouse at it my mouse turns into this icon that's a hand with a pointing finger. But if I click on this link, is it going to open in Safari or Chrome? That's what the default web browser is all about. So I'll just click on this link and we'll see that it opens up in Safari. So Safari is the default web browser on this computer. When you install Chrome it'll probably ask you at least two times if you want to set it as the default browser.
Go ahead and make that decision based on your preference. But if you ever need to change which is your default browser here's how you can do it. I'm going to do this on a Mac first and then we'll switch over to Windows. So first I'm going to quit Safari and I'll launch Chrome. There's an option right inside of Chrome to set it as your default. Now first you may see a message like this when you launch Chrome. And if you do you can choose to set Chrome as your default right here, or if you don't want to see this question, you can say Don't ask again.
Now if you don't see this question at all, you want to go into the menu. We'll be talking more about the menu later in this course but you can find it up here in the top right corner. Just click on that and you get a bunch of options. I'm going to go into Settings. And I'll scroll down until I find the area that says Default browser. And there's one button here that you can use to make Google Chrome your default browser. All you would need to do is click on this and confirm. Now you can use this option to set Chrome as the default but you cannot switch to some other browser as your default from here.
If you need to switch Safari or some other browser to be the default, what you'll need to do is go into System Preferences. So I'm going to go into the little Apple menu in the top left, then down to System Preferences, then to General. And there's a menu right here for the default web browser. So if I needed to switch this over to Safari or maybe even Firefox, I could select that here. Now Safari has been set back as my default web browser. So that's how it works on Mac.
Now let's take a look at how to set your default web browser inside of Windows. Now I have Google Chrome installed. I've got a shortcut here on the desktop and in the task bar. But currently Internet Explorer is set as my default web browser. To change your default you'll need to go into PC Settings. And there are a few ways to get to PC Settings. You could point your mouse at the top right corner, then the charms will pop up. You can click on Settings and then go to Change PC settings. Another way to get there would be to just go to the Start menu, then click on this down button that takes you to all Apps, and then click on PC settings.
Either way, once you're inside of PC settings, you'll need to go to Search and apps, then to Defaults. In here you can set the default app for lots of different operations. So you can set which app opens by default when you double click on a music file or a video file or a photo and so on. But we're interested in the first option here, your default web browser. So I can click on this and any web browser that you have installed on your computer will be available on this list. Now it doesn't really make sense to use the app store as your default web browser, so I wouldn't choose that.
If you had something else like Firefox installed, you would see that on the list. But what we want now is Google Chrome, so I'll select that and now Chrome is my default web browser here in Windows. To get out of PC settings, I just point my mouse at the top right corner, hit the red X, and that closes PC settings. Setting your default web browser is an important preference. Once you choose which web browser you want to use on a regular basis, it can be annoying when a different browser opens up automatically. Whether you make the decision now or after you finish this course, make sure you go in and set your default to your preferred browser.
- Using tabs
- Setting the homepage
- Downloading files
- Sharing links
- Creating and importing bookmarks
- Installing Chrome apps and extensions
- Saving passwords
- Managing history, cookies, and other website data
- Browsing privately
- Using Chrome on mobile devices