Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting your default web browser, part of Learning the Firefox Browser.
- 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 but only one can be the default. Windows computers come with Internet Explorer preloaded, and Macs come with Safari, so if you've installed Firefox on a Mac or a Windows computer, you have at least two browsers to choose from at any given time, but only one can be the default. But what's the significance of the default browser? Well, let me show you an example. I'm going to go into my mail, it's actually very common to recieve a link to a webpage in an email message or a document or something like that.
So here is a link right here, I can click on this and it will open a webpage. But I have Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer all installed on this computer, so which web browser is going to open when I click on this? Well, in this case, it opens up Internet Explorer, because Internet Explorer is my default web browser. When you install Firefox, it will probably ask you at least two times if you want to set it as the default web browser, so you can go ahead and make that decision based on your preference. In fact, if I quit this, I'll quit both mail and Internet Explorer, and I'm going to launch Firefox right here from the taskbar.
When I launch it, I get this message asking me to set it as my default web browser. So at this point, I could go ahead and say yes, Use Firefox as my default browser, but I want to show you another way of doing it, so for now, I'm just going to hit Not now. So let's look at how we can change the default browser. I'll just minimize this to to get it out of the way for now. Here on Windows I'm going to have to go into PC settings. One way to do that would be to point my mouse at the top right corner, I'll click on Settings, then I'll go to Change PC settings.
Once I'm inside of PC settings, I need to go to Search and apps and then to Defaults. Here on this screen I see a list of all of the applications that will open by default when I open certain types of files. And the first item on this list is my default web browser, currently set to Internet Explorer. If I click on this, it'll open up a menu and it'll show me all of the web browsers that I currently have installed on my computer. So I can switch this to Firefox if I want, or if I already have it swtiched to Firefox and I want to switch it back to Internet Explorer I could do that here as well.
But now that's set, and I just go up to the top right corner, click on the X to close that. So that's how I change the default browser on Windows. Let's switch over to a Mac. On Mac, just like Windows, if I launch Firefox for the very first time, it will ask me if I want to set it as the default browser so I could say yes right here. For now, once again, I'm going to say no. Let me quit Firefox and I'll show you how to change the default browser on Mac. You'll need to go into System Preferences. So I'll click on the Apple menu on the top left corner, I'll go to System Preferences, then I'll go to General, and you can see my default web browser is currently set to Safari.
So I can switch that over to Firefox and now Firefox is my default browser. 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 pretty 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 and bookmarks
- Downloading files
- Disabling the pop-up blocker
- Installing extensions, themes, and add-ons
- Managing the cache and cookies
- Saving passwords