Change Default Browser, Quickly Switch The Default System Browser - gHacks Tech News

Change Default Browser, Quickly Switch The Default System Browser

One web browser is always the default system browser on a computer system. That's the program that is launched when you click on links for example or any other file type that is opened in a browser by default.

The majority of computer users on Windows come into contact with multiple browsers. They got Microsoft's Internet Explorer installed by default on the system and download and install at least one additional browser, usually Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera.

These browsers perform a check on startup to see if they are the default browser on the system. If they are not, they display options to make them the default browser.

That's usually the end of the story. Once you switch the default browser you are all set up to work with that Internet browser on the system. There may be situations on the other hand where you need to switch the default browser multiple times.

This can be in a development environment where you have installed multiple browsers. To make the testing easier, you switch default browsers. But it can also have technical reasons.

Say you do not get the prompt to make your favorite browser the default browser on the system. While you could edit the Windows Registry manually for this or try to uninstall and re-install your favorite browser, you might also use a program like Change Default Browser for the job.

change default browser

The program supports the four web browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. It detects installed browsers automatically and displays them in the interface. You can use the browse button to select a different browser, for instance if you have multiple versions of a browser installed on the system or are using portable browsers.

You can even select other programs or executable in case you want to make a different browse the default on the system. This means that you may add PaleMoon, SeaMonkey or any other Internet browser to each of the available listings.

To make a browser the default, simply select it in the program interface and click on the Set Default Browser to make it the default system browser.

If there is something to complain about it is the need to install the application before you can change the default browser on the system. Other than that it is a solid program with no downsides.

You can download the program that is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows from the official program homepage. Please note that you need to run the program with elevated rights as it needs to make modifications to the Windows system registry.

Update: The program website is not available anymore. We have uploaded the latest working version of the program to our own server. You can download it with a click on the following link: changedefaultbrowser_setup.zip

Note that we don't support the file in any way and that it may not work properly on newer versions of Windows.

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Comments

  1. brisssou said on September 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm
    Reply

    Is there any chance this can be used to set Chrome canary as the default browser?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm
      Reply

      I have not tried but you can select other executables so it should work in theory.

      1. brisssou said on September 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm
        Reply

        That’s pretty much what I guess, but since my Windows box is at home, I was wondering if someone had already tested it

      2. kryve said on October 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm
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        I confirm it works with Chrome Canary on Windows 7 64-bit ! Thanks a lot guys.

      3. brisssou said on October 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm
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        I confimr that it does NOT work with canary.
        It launches regular Chrome instead of canary.

        too bad :'(

      4. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2011 at 10:10 am
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        Cannot you select the Canary executable manually?

  2. Marc said on September 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm
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    I wonder if there’s is some way to always prefer current open browser over the default. (for opening links, etc).

  3. Will said on September 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm
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    Should check out Browser Chooser @ https://browserchooser.codeplex.com/

    “Browser Chooser is a small tool acting as the default browser allowing you to choose what browser to open the link in.

    It gives you the flexibility to choose what browser to use for any given task.”

  4. Alec said on September 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm
    Reply

    > Should check out Browser Chooser @ https://browserchooser.codeplex.com/
    Also Browser Tray Switch http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/browsertray/

    1. Tim Chambers 1E4AF729D5CEFFD0 said on December 3, 2015 at 8:07 pm
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      This is what I went with. I love how it simplifies the registry hacking required so I can toggle my default browser from the tray.

  5. Howard Pearce said on September 28, 2011 at 2:44 am
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    I use pick browser … it has an interesting approach of making itself the default browser even tho not a browser itself; it then executes on external links and allows you to pick the browser u want which you configure yourself.
    It also has the options of browsing partcicular domains by a certain browser or appointing a browser to temporarily act as the default without pick browser asking for a selection.

    http://www.xintercept.com/pb/pb.html

  6. Scalpos said on October 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm
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    Great, thank you for this list of useful tools.
    While I’m a convinced Opera user, as I like minimize the number of opened programs/windows, I’m quite happy at work with Firefox and IE Tab (2) module combo allowing to have classic browsing for most of my surf, and IE in Firefox when needed for (crappy incompatible with FF) online corporate tools in dedicated FF tab.

  7. mike said on January 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm
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    This is quite a good progam, and I will test it with some scripts that I am writing. However two things that seem to be a annoyance are that sometimes it will ask to close all current browser sessions when you click on the ‘set defeault browser’ button, even when non are running (checked in task manager). The other is that when changing to google (my system default is firefox) and the changing back to firefox – it will put a shortcut for firefox on the desktop. This is annoying as I don’t need a shortcut there (have one on pinned to taskbar & removed all other links – that’s all I need)

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