All Microsoft operating system versions have an option to set the default programs for file handling. This includes choosing which browser you prefer to use. Simply clicking the “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen brings up the programs menus. In the right hand column there is an option for “Default Programs” that will offer choices for which browser you prefer as well as several other programming defaults.
However, the most common method of changing the default browser is to do it while in the process of installing the new application. Almost all downloaded browser applications will ask during the set up phase whether to make the new browser the default. If this didn’t occur or was by-passed at the time, it can still be changed in the browser itself. The most common browsers all provide a way to set this at any time.
To choose the popular Firefox browser from Mozilla as your default:
- Open the Firefox browser and click the “Tools” button on the top menu bar.
- Choose the “Options” button at the bottom of the drop-down list.
- On the pop-up window, click the “Advanced” button that has an icon shaped like a gear wheel.
- Make sure the “General” tab is displayed and find the bottom section called “System Defaults.”
- Click the check box beside the “Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on start up.”
- Close the pop-up by clicking the “OK” button.
- Close the Firefox browser and re-open.
- When the pop-up window appears asking you if you want to set Firefox as the default browser, simply click the button to agree.
As with all things made by Google, their Chrome browser provides an even simpler way to do things:
- Look for a small tool icon to the far right of the address bar.
- Now find the “Options” link toward the bottom of the drop-down list.
- The pop-up window should open on the “Basics” tab, if not just click it to go there.
- Find the very large button at the bottom that says “Make Google Chrome my default browser” and click it.
- The line of text above the button changes to say “The default browser is currently Google Chrome” and you are done.
Netscape is one of the oldest browsers available, and their “Options” window has an ‘old school’ look to it, but it is also simple to use:
- Follow the same “Tools” and “Options” path.
- The resulting pop-up window has two panes. The left pane is labeled “Browser Options.” Click “General” on the top line.
- Toward the bottom of the new pop-up window there is a box labeled “Default Browser.” Click the box beside the ‘check when starting’ line.
- Close the browser and restart to get the same type of pop-up request used by Firefox.
If you are a MAC fan forced to use a Windows system, you can still use Safari, there is a Windows version and you can set it as your default browser the same way you would on the MAC:
- Under the “Edit” tab, click the “Preferences” button.
- Click the “General” tab, if it’s not already open.
- The first option in the window is “Default web browser” with the current default name. The end of the button has up and down arrows.
- Clicking the arrows section brings up a list of all the browsers installed on your computer.
- Click the one you want to make the default, close the window, and you are done.
If you should want to change back to Internet Explorer:
- On the “Tools” drop-down menu, IE uses “Internet Options.” The resulting pop-up window looks very much like any Windows options box.
- Click the “Programs” tab. The top button says “Make default.”
- There’s also a check box to tell it to always check whether it is the default.
- You must click “OK” to close the pop-up window before proceeding but the action is done.