How To Change Your Default Browser on Android and iOS

How To Change Your Default Browser on Android and iOS
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

If you’re more sceptical about Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari web browsers, you might want to change the default browser on your phone. Thankfully changing your phone browser is about as easy as it is to do on any computer — all you need to do is change up your settings a little. Let’s jump into it.

What is a default browser?

A default browser is the browser recognised by the operating system that opens web pages when links are clicked. For example, when you have Chrome set as your default browser and you click a link texted to you, Chrome will open that link by default. Changing your default phone browser changes which app is responsible for this sort of feature.

Depending on the device that you use, your default browser starts with whatever your manufacturer has preloaded. Apple iPhones always come with Safari as the default browser, whereas Samsung phones use the Samsung Internet Browser by default. Google phones and some other Android phones use the Google Chrome browser. You can change your default phone browser at any time.

How to change your default browser on Android

Android’s default browser settings are easy to change — just keep in mind that certain Android skins will provide slightly different settings menus, so take these steps as more of a loose guide.

Firstly, open the settings app. Then, click the ‘Apps’ tab. After that, click the ‘Default apps’ tab. From here, you’ll see a setting to change your default ‘Browser app’. Easy, right? From here, you just tap that tab and choose the browser app you’d like to use by default. You can download more browsers from the Google Play Store. With that out of the way, you should be good to go!

How to change your default browser on iOS

Even though Apple much prefers you to use its own products like Safari and Apple Music, Apple gives you quite a bit of freedom when choosing your default browser on iOS.

Firstly, open the Settings app. Then, scroll down to either ‘Safari’ or your preferred web browser (like ‘Microsoft Edge’ or ‘Opera’). After tapping your selected browser, you’ll be taken through to the settings of that specific app. From here, you’ll see a button allowing you to switch over your default browser app. Tap that and choose your default browser from the list. You can download more browsers through the Apple App Store. After this, you should be set!

Should I change my default browser?

It’s really up to you if you want to change your phone browser. Ultimately it doesn’t make a big difference outside of user experience. For iOS users, you’ll find extra functionality when using the Safari browser, as it’s designed to best suit the Apple user experience, although it’s good to have the option to change available. There’s also privacy things to consider, although data collection is almost inescapable these days.

Don’t think you need to settle on any one browser either – you can have multiple browsers installed (although only one can be the ‘default’ browser), so never feel locked into one browser.

This guide was produced using the iPhone 13 Mini and the Google Pixel 6 Pro.