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How to Change Default Apps on Mac

How to Change Default Apps on Mac

Do you want to change the default apps that are used by your Mac? Maybe you want to change the default web browser, or email app, or for a particular file type? No problem, we’ll show you how to change default apps in MacOS.

It’s no surprise that Apple wants you to use its own apps and other software when you purchase a Mac. The same goes for iPhones and iPads since Apple’s apps are set as default apps on these devices. However, Apple still gives users the option to use a different app as the default app on macOS if that’s what they prefer. People who’re fairly new to the macOS ecosystem may have trouble finding these settings on their devices.

You can change the default browser, default mail app, and the default app that’s used to launch a specific file type stored in your system.

How to Change Default Web Browser on Mac

If you prefer using a third-party web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser, you can use the following steps to set it as the default web browser. Make sure you already have the browser installed before you proceed.

  1. Click on the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac
  2. Once the window opens, click on “General” located below your Apple ID profile picture.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac
  3. Here, you’ll find the “Default web browser” setting. Safari is selected by default, but you can click on it and change it to the browser you use.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac

From now on, whenever you click on a web link in any of the apps installed on your Mac, your preferred browser will be automatically launched instead of Safari.

How to Change Default Mail App on Mac

First, you need to have your preferred third-party email app installed on your Mac to change the default app. The steps are fairly similar, except you’ll need to launch the stock Mail app once. Without further ado, let’s see what you need to do:

  1. Launch the Mail app on your Mac from the Dock. Click on “Mail” from the menu bar and choose” Preferences” from the dropdown menu. Note that you have to be logged in to your Mail app with your email account to access these settings.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac
  2. This will open the settings window for the Mail app. Head over to the “General” section and you’ll find the “Default email reader” located right at the top. Choose the third-party app you use and you’re good to go.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac

Now onwards, when you click on an email contact, your Mac will automatically launch the third-party email client instead of Apple Mail.

How to Change Default App for a File Type on Mac

Apple’s Preview app is used to open image files and PDF files on your Mac by default. Likewise, Apple prefers to launch their own software to open specific file types which can be changed if necessary. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac from the Dock and find a file with the file type that you want to change the default app for.

    How to Change a File Type's Default App in macOS
  2. Control-click or Right-click on the file and choose “Get Info” to view file information.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac
  3. Here, you’ll find the option “Open with”. You can click on it and select the app or software that you want to use for opening the specific file. To change the setting for all files using the same format, click on “Change All”.

    How to Change Default Apps on Mac

You can repeat these steps to change the default app for other file types too.

There you go. You’ve successfully changed the default apps used by your macOS system. If you’re interested, you can learn more about each of these procedures individually. We’ve already covered in detail how to change the default web browser on Mac, how to change the default mail app in macOS, and even how to change the default app a file opens with on a Mac.

Changing the default web browser can sometimes be a lot more straightforward. Depending on the browser you installed, you may be automatically prompted by the web browser to set it as the default one the first time you launch it. You can also access these options from the browser settings.

Note that all the default app changes that you make on your system only apply to the current user account. So, if you have multiple user accounts on your Mac, you’ll need to log in to those accounts manually and repeat these steps if you want to change them everywhere.

We’re glad that you were finally able to set your preferred apps and software as system defaults on your Mac. What all default apps did you change on your Mac using the steps we discussed here? Do share your experiences and let us know your valuable opinions in the comments section down below.