Setting your Chrome as the default browser on Windows and Mac

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Internet browsers – which one is the best can a topic of fierce debate. One of reasons why you’d want to alter the default browser is performance. Performance is one of them. While Safari is quite powerful, some users find that their search is better performed by Chrome. In some occasions a specific extension is only made for Internet Explorer or they need to check how the website looks in Chrome and not in Safari.

Apple’s Mac has set Safari as the default browser and Windows seems to prefer Internet Explorer but what should you do if you would rather use Google’s Chrome for all your internet browsing needs? There are two ways to set Chrome as the default browser on your device, either inside the computer operating system settings or in Chrome browser settings.

What is a default browser?

A default browser is the one that automatically opens any link you receive in an email or a document. It’s the browser that does all of the internet-related work when you click on links. You can have several browsers installed on your computer but the default browser will be like the preferred tool to open up the internet for your computer. Any action which automatically sends you to the internet is caused by a default browser. So you can keep using several browsers installed on your computer and not change the default one. If occasionally you need to check the content or a design in another browser, you can copy the link, open any browser that you like, paste the link and enjoy the results. It’s not uncommon, especially among web developers and designers, to have several browsers installed on the same system.

If you have never changed the browser on your Mac, then you probably still have Safari as your default web browser, and if you have never changed the default browser on your PC, most likely you are using Internet Explorer. So let’s explore how to install Chrome as the default browser. But if you are asking yourself a question, “How do I make Google Chrome my default browser?”, then you came the right place. Read on!

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How to change the default browser on Windows?

Step 1. Install Google Chrome
First of all you have to install Chrome if it isn’t installed yet. Chrome will need to be installed before you can select it as your default browser. You can download Chrome by visiting google.com/chrome in the browser and clicking the “Download” button. Run the installer to install Chrome.

Step 2. Go to Settings
Open the Start menu and click or tap “Settings.” This may just look like your laptop or a PC.

Step 3. Select “System” from the Settings Home menu
This will display the different system settings.

Step 4. Select “Default apps” tab
You’ll find this in the left menu of the System window.

Step 5. Select the “Web browser” option.
This will show you the browsers installed on your computer.

Step 6. Choose Google Chrome
This makes Chrome the default browser that will automatically open links and HTML files.

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How to change the default browser on Mac?

Here’s instructions on how to change the default browser in the latest macOS so that a different internet browser will open links automatically.

First we are going to learn how to make MacOS use Chrome as your default web browser, so that all links opened in email or clicked from third party apps will open in Chrome instead of Safari.

Step 1. Open System Preferences
You need to click on the Apple icon which you can find in the upper left-hand corner of your screen at the very beginning of the menu. When you see the drop-down menu, select the System Preferences option.

Step 2. Open General settings
You should see the System Preferences window displayed. You must click on the General icon.

Step 3. Choose a new Default Web Browser
Safari’s General Preferences set of options is now displayed. Find the section called Default web browser which should open another drop-down menu. Click this menu and choose Chrome option from that list to be the macOS default browser. Once you’ve chosen Chrome as a default web browser, close the window with the red button “x” in the upper left-hand corner of the window.

You can also use another method to change the default browser on Mac. For this you can use settings of the browser itself, in our case it’s Chrome. First, launch the Chrome app on your Mac.

Pull down the Chrome menu and select “Preferences”. You can also access this function by going to chrome://settings/ from the Chrome app.

Look under the initial “Settings” section and scroll to the bottom of the section. Click on “Make Google Chrome my default browser”.

That’s easy, isn’t it? You now have Google’s Chrome as the new default browser. Now Chrome will be opening all links from emails and apps, instead of Safari or Opera.

Of course, the “Default browser” section of the settings can say “The default browser is currently Google Chrome.” In this case you don’t need to change anything.

So now you know how to set the default browser to whichever browser you want using browser apps preferences. Same instructions apply to Firefox and even Evernote. Of course, creators of every browser want it to become every user’s default, as it grows the user base and increases the reach of the browser and eventually increases advertising revenue.

But whichever web browser you prefer to use, there are some recommendations you should keep in mind in order to protect your privacy and browse the internet securely.

Google’s Chrome web browser was the first internet browser to provide automatic updates. In this way Google again started nothing short of a revolution, because before this it was up to the user to manually update their web browser. As a result of this, only the most responsible and technically savvy users enjoyed fully updated web browsers. Today unless you have specifically disabled updates, Chrome will check for updates every two hours and automatically update itself.

Always use the latest version of the browser. While Safari automatically gets updates at the same time with macOS system updates, you will want to make sure that you install system updates as soon as they become available. The Chrome browser automatically updates itself when you close and reopen the browser. But if you keep Chrome open all the time, it won’t update. So the easiest way to keep Chrome updated is to quit it regularly.

Don’t keep lots of tabs open at once. Open tabs, even if they are pinned, consume RAM, processor cycles, and energy. The more you have open, the slower your Mac will become. So close tabs you no longer need.

Remove extensions and plugins you don’t use. Same as tabs, in addition to taking up memory, extensions and plugins that become out of date can pose a significant security risk, so get rid of them.

Happy browsing!