How to change your default web browser and email app on Mac

When Safari and Mail aren't enough

Change Default Browser Email Mac

Apple has long included Safari and Mail along with OS X, and many, many users utilize these apps on a daily basis. Some users prefer other web and email apps, however, and if you're one of those users, then you'd likely want to change the default browser and email client on your Mac so that links and new email compose windows open in the desired apps. We'll show you how this works so that you can customize your Mac to your liking.

Setting a default web browser

Safari isn't the only browser on the block. You may find yourself using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or any other numerous browsers available for the platform for many different reasons. If you find yourself using a different browser on a daily basis, then you can easily change your default one by performing these steps:

1. Ensure your browser of choice is installed on your Mac.

2. Open System Preferences.

3. Navigate to the General preference pane.

4. Locate the "Default Web Browser" and select your default browser from the drop-down menu.

Default Web Browser Mac
Selecting another web browser to open all links system-wide is as easy as selecting an app from a list.

Note that this list of browsers will contain any app installed on your Mac that can open web URLs - not all of the apps listed may be web browsers.

Setting a default email app

People have different preferences when it comes to email clients, and Apple's Mail.app doesn't fill the needs of some users. When you find an email client that does, you may want to set it as the default email client on your Mac so that when you click email address links in your web browser or other places system-wide, your email client of choice will open and present a new email compose window. To set your default email client, follow these steps:

1. Ensure that your favorite email client is installed on your Mac.

2. Open Apple Mail (yes, as counter-intuitive as this sounds).

3. Select Mail > Preferences > General.

4. Select your favorite email app from the "Default email reader" drop-down menu.

Default Email Mac
Set a new email client from the Apple Mail General preferences.

After doing this, any email address links that you click will open in your preferred email client of choice and will no longer cause Mail to open.