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How to change the default web browser in Windows 10

Microsoft Edge is your new, default web browser for Windows 10, but that doesn't mean you have to use it. Web browsing is a personal experience and many of us are already attached to and invested in a particular browser.

So, while Edge may be the default out of the box, it's pretty simple to change it up for something else.

Here's how you do it.

  1. Open "Settings"
  2. Click or tap on "System"
  3. In the pane on the left look for "Default apps" towards the bottom. Click on it.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the list where you'll find an option for the web browser.
  5. Click on whatever the current default is.
  6. From the resulting dropdown box pick your new preference.

And that's all there is to it. If you ever want to go back to Edge just follow the same steps and choose it from the list. Now, whenever you click a web link your browser of choice will open.

For more Windows 10 tips be sure to visit our dedicated help page here

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

38 Comments
  • Edge in the mobile Technical Preview is nearly unusable for me, constant crashes.
  • Which is why Windows 10 for mobile was not mentioned in the post. And, btw, the preview for mobile is still an (early) preview. Noone guaranteed that it would work perfectly.
  • No issues here.
  • Or just install the new browser. Usually the first thing it asks you is to set it to default.
  • Yup.
  • I heard that this "Would you like to set XXXX as default browser?" wont work on Windows 10. It will simple say that you need to go to Settings.
  • Fascinating. If true, does it also stop toolbars and other "crapware" from resetting your defaults on install? If so, this may be the biggest killer feature of Windows 10. Will save me a lot of trouble when dealing with other peoples' computers.
  • Yes. They aren't allowing apps from changing defaults to stop malware. Also, I don't think that the Edge browser supports toolbars at all.
  • When you install firefox, it does prompt you to set it as your default browser.  Once you click that you want to set it as your default browser, it will take you to the settings mentioned above in the article.  You can then choose the web browser you want as default.
  • Does this work in windows 10 mobile aswell or?
  • not yet at lest
  • Only fools will switch unless edge is not compatible with a specific website but so far it is extremely faster than any browser out there - especially chrome. Also to mention all the added feature like ask Cortana :)
  • Personally, I can't use it yet. It's fast as hell, sure, but I miss my extensions. When they come to Edge, I'll go back and give it a proper run.
  • Agreed. A browser is useless without certain extensions for me. I am not using it and not letting family use it either until without any adblocking capabilities.
  • Personally I didn't make edge my default browser because it doesn't support Plex server or ftp folder but since build 10240 they all work find so no problems for me. I don't use extensions never do so that's not a problem and I don't see the need for ad blocking unless you are using Google as your search engine.
  • That's why I feel Edge was/is a bit rushed. 1st impressions last, chrome & Firefox users will not be impressed by edge because it would not support extensions, by the time they add that functionality the damage would have been done by then
  • Actually chrome was pretty light on options when it was first released also.
  • I believe that IE users (the ones who love it) will migrate to Edge. Chrome (or other borwse of choice) users will figure out how to change. People who have a browser different than IE but are not tech savy will open Edge. And here is where Microsoft starts getting market share with Edge.
  • Not THIS IE user.  I can't stand Edge.
  • I agree. I kept switching back to IE but over the last few weeks I have been forcing myself to use Edge and it's really grown on me. Really fast and love the clean design.
  • I love it too. I will love it when lastpass comes.
  • Maybe on YOUR computer and the websites YOU go to, but it crashes and freezes frequently on my test machine and it performs much slower on all websites I visit...including THIS one.
  • Or those wo want to use extensions, like AdBlock
  • Can you do this on mobile
  • nope not yet
  • Wait don't people already know this?
  • Why would everyone already know this? Not everyone goes clicking everything to find stuff on their own.
  • what is wrong with the site? ... isnt this a windows central site.  As such, its focus should be on all things in support of windows ..... how is promoting other web browsers supporting that cause.   I would expect this post over at google.....
  • You've never owned a computer\tablet\phone in your life have you? If you have, it must be a sad existence to never allow third party apps.
  • A couple of reason why your response was very poor and any lacked sign of critical thinking By virtue of the fact that you could read my comment nullifies your premise that I have never own a computet/tablet/phone Secondly, how do you jump to i have never used third party software based on me wondering why the "all this windows channel" was teaching how to use competitive products Lastly, how is not using third party apps the gateway to a SAD existence?
  • You are sad.
  • Well, at least I can change the default back to IE.  Edge is horrible so far.
  • No need for that. We have Edge.
  • How do you transfer your google chrome favorites to edge?
  • Funny how you think this is a simple process and Tom Warren on the Verge described it as deeply buried in settings. He gave an positive review overall, but it's always funny how the editors on the verge will always finds something negative to say about a microsoft product even if something simple like going into a settings page.  
  • So far on my two days with Edge, it is lighting fast and looks like it will replace Chorme.
  • I prefer Opera as my default browser and am very frustrated I cannot get it to work in Windows 10.  I think I'm going to go back to Windows 7.
  • Ok Richard.  I've followed your suggestions to change my default browser from Windows Edge to Opera.  It does not work!!!  Now what?