How to Easily Change the Default Web Browser on a Mac

mac dock showing safari firefox and brave web browsers

Written by Chris Mayhew

July 26, 2021

When using a Mac, the default web browser out of the box is Safari. I have been using a Mac for decades, so I can understand that the experience with Safari can sometimes be frustrating. When browsing the web, you may encounter websites that don’t want to play well with Safari. Often, in those situations, you will see a message from the website provider that other web browsers may provide a better user experience. In some cases, a different web browser is required to have any experience on the website at all.

Therefore, some people want to change the default web browser on their Mac because they are not satisfied with Safari, and others want an alternative. There are many reasons why you would want to change your default browser, while it isn’t extremely difficult, it can be challenging if you’re not very tech savvy or know what steps need to be taken. This tutorial video will show you how easy it is to change the default web browser in macOS Big Sur!

Identify and Install the New Default Web Browser

The first step in changing your default web browser in macOS Big Sur is to find a new browser you would like to use. In most cases, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge tend to be the go-to options. These web browsers tend to be the most popular because they are built on the Chromium platform. Chromium is an open-source web browser project that is the basis for these browsers, which allows for more customization and a better user experience overall. Once you find the web browser you like, download and install it.

You can find more about the different web browsers available for macOS Big Sur and the new M1 chips in this Macworld article. Safari browser alternatives for Mac | Macworld.

Change Your Default Web Browser

Now that you have chosen your web browser, changing the System Preferences to know which browser you want to use is the easy part.

  1. Select the Apple Menu


  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Select General
  4. Click on “Default web browser” and change it to the browser of your choice
  5. Closeout of System Preferences


Now that you have successfully changed your default browser, anytime you click on a link, regardless of where it came from, that default web browser will open. If you want to change it back, just change it again as you did the first time by following this tutorial!

Keep in mind that this is only for the default web browser and that if there is a different web browser installed on your Mac, they will be unaffected and will have to be opened by clicking on their application directly.

To learn more tips and tricks for your Mac, check out our other 2-minute rides on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get the updates in your email.

Have ideas or something you would like to see a video on, contact us and let us know today!

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