How to Change the Computer's Default Browser

By Andrew Meer

Although Windows 8.1 sets Internet Explorer as your computer’s default Web browser, any other browsers that you install can change the default browser setting, thus causing all links to open within that particular browser. You can, however, revert your default browser to Internet Explorer or to any another Web browser by configuring the Default Programs configurations panel. Alternately, if you just added a new browser yourself and you want to make that your default browser instead of Internet Explorer, you can do that also.

Windows 8.1 Default Programs

While on the Start screen, type “Default Programs” and then press “Enter.” On the Default Programs window, click “Set Your Default Programs” to open up a list of applications installed on your computer. Select your preferred Web browser from the left pane, then click “Set This Program as Default” to set it as your computer's default Web browser. Click “OK” to exit the Default Programs window.

Web Browser Defaults

Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome also provide you with built-in options that let you make them your default Web browser. When using Internet Explorer, press “Alt-X,” select “Internet Options,” then under the Programs tab, click “Make Internet Explorer the default Web browser.” In Mozilla Firefox, press “Alt-T,” select “Options” from the pull-down menu, click the “Advanced” tab, then click “Make Firefox the Default Browser” under the General tab. In Google Chrome, type “chrome://settings” into the URL bar, then click “Make Google Chrome the Default Browser” under the Default Browser section.