How to Change Default Browser (or Make Firefox / Chrome / IE Default Browser)

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So the other day I downloaded and installed the latest version of Opera. I had heard good things about this new version and wanted to give it a shot. Strangely, during the installation process, I didn’t see any option to not set it as default browser. It quickly installed and set itself as the default browser.

I probably missed a step or two in the installation process because as far as I know, all the browsers let the user decide if it wants to choose them as default. This was just an example and this can happen sometimes when some changes to the system change default browser without letting you know. You only find that out when you click on a link on, lets say, a chat window on your IM client and it suddenly opens the link in the new browser you installed, instead of your favorite browser.

The purpose of this article is to teach people – who are facing this problem – how to change default browser back to the old one manually.

We will take up Firefox, Chrome and IE in this post, and Safari and Opera in the next one.

Make Firefox Your Default Browser

In my case, I had Firefox set as the default browser and wanted it to remain like that. Hence when Opera set itself as the default browser without my permission, it didn’t make me jump with joy. I kinda like external links to open in Firefox.

Turned out that it wasn’t that difficult to revert the change. I first had to visit Tools –> Options to find where the setting was. It was under the Advanced tab. You can see below that there’s a way to check if Firefox is the default browser, without the need to restart it.

make firefox default browser 1

When you click on Check Now, it’ll pop up a box where you can set it as your default browser by clicking on Yes.

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make firefox default browser 2

Simple, isn’t it? Now lets see how we can do it in Chrome.

Make Chrome Your Default Browser

Making Chrome your default browser is more simple because the setting is there right on the first page of the Options.

You can visit Chrome Options by clicking on the wrench icon at the top, and there under Basics, at the very bottom you’ll find a button that says Make Google Chrome my default browser. Clicking on it should get the job done.

make chrome default browser

Make Internet Explorer Default Browser

Considering the rave reviews IE 9 has received, it is possible that many people – who were not IE users previously – are now using it as their default browser. And then, there are millions of other IE users to consider (Lest you forget, IE is still the most widely used browser).

No matter what version of IE you are using, the Internet Options window is the answer to setting it as your default browser. You would need to go to Tools –> Internet Options, and then to Programs. There you’ll find the button that will set IE as default browser. Click on it, click OK and you’re done!

make ie default browser

That was about manually setting Firefox, Chrome or IE as the default browser. Tomorrow, we will take up Safari and Opera, and see how to change default browser in that case.

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  • cam2644

    I’ve changed my default browser to most of them from time to time but I’m sticking with Firefox for the foreseeable future

    • Abhijeet

      Firefox is good. No harm in sticking with it.

      • Isaac Preston

        Thanks for your information , I use it and work properly , Now Firefox is my default browser. thanks

  • Val

    Thank you!! It worked!

  • Yogesh Patel

    Yes, had issue with my default browser as Chrome. Now its set, thanks

  • Johan Bengtsson

    Thank you, exactly the same happened to me. How presumptuous and rude of Opera!

    This makes me think I should possibly uninstall Opera straight away.

  • Jen

    Thanks so much! Worked perfectly :-)

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  • Lea

    Thank you for making these easy to follow instructions available for this annoying problem.

    • Abhijeet

      Glad it helped Lea.

  • kabir


  • Sddsf


  • Jeevendran_p

    In my computer,while browsing the net, i found all my software such as ms office, autocad etc has been changed to adobe default browser in the desktop.

  • Abhiram Rao


  • DERP


  • Bebe Cerdo

    thanks you so much~~^^

  • Fahmineo Ismail

    Thanks for the info… it’s helpful

  • Harmony

    You have helped us. Thank you!

  • Jackbrown


  • Teddbearsangel

    Thank you SO much! It’s been years since I had to do this and I was getting very frustrated looking on every program and application I use that was opening the links in IE trying to find how to fix this! Thank you SO much!

  • espranza_zed

    thank you. it really help

  • Minder

    thank you

  • Snehith

    thanks..really helped

  • Machine_X

    Not even Microsoft had a proper solution for stupid problem. Thanks bud this was real useful!

  • Justgeorgeyprobably

    Thanks so much mate!

  • Akpgeetha

    Thanks it helped

  • Russ

    It doesn’t work. The button you show for IE does not exist on my system. Instead there is a large box called Internet Programs and at the bottom of the window is a small check box that says IE should check to see if it is the default browser. It never checks.

    • Monica Iriberri

      Maybe you’re using an older version of IE. Try to upgrade?

  • Lana

    Thank you heaps!!! :)

  • Peter Wallach

    This does NOT work.

  • R Zachary

    Thank you very much for the instructions, I had the same issue when I installed Chrome, it just became the default. You made it easy to fix. 😉

  • max

    thanks a lot

  • AJ

    thanks a lot… it was very useful

  • pakuBesi

    thanks, it helps.

  • jerryocampo

    I’ve had the same problem with Opera. Thank you so much for showing the way.

  • Manoj Potnuru

    Thank you

  • Dexter

    In Windows Vista and later, it asks for administrator permissions… Can it be done without that? (I mean, HOW it can be done since everything is possible)

  • azr

    Thanks bro

  • Abdul Aleem

    Thanking you lot,

  • Einstein

    every time I start IE and make it default browser it automatically changes back. can someone help


    Yes, I set Firefox as my default, but IE9 will not let go! I don’t like IE9 AND DON’T LIKE THAT IT HAS TAKEN OVER MY DEFAULT BROWSER SETTING.

    • Lorrellei

      Uninstall it I like did and install Chrome, Mozilla or whatever your favorite browser is. I had to completely uninstall IE on every computer I’ve had because it “does not let go” Save your favorites to a file on your desktop and uninstall it from programs. It takes over your computer and won’t let go, causing your computer to use unnecessary space on your hard drive you may not even be aware of.

  • Just A Guy

    You are a God

  • haggis


  • chpperdoo

    I have a new advanced system and it won’t let me play my games in bigfish, it blocks all the games, How do I change it , thank you

  • Dysdi

    I believe Opera just doesn’t ask you, it happened to me and to many friends I asked. P*ssed me off, I’m quitting Opera. Hate when this things happen. THANKS for your help :)

  • Lorrellei

    Thank you for the instruction…just what I was looking for and needed.