Tip: Choose a New Default Browser in iOS 14

Apple hasn’t yet publicly released iOS 14, but when it does, you’ll finally be able to choose another browser as your default, instead of being forced to use Safari. Here’s how.

(Yes, this tip applies to iPadOS 14 as well.)

Apple being Apple, this isn’t done in a logical way. There’s no Default Apps interface in the Settings app in iOS. Instead, you must first install a compatible browser app and then make the change from that app’s settings interface.

Today, the only app that supports this change is Google Chrome. I don’t normally recommend that anyone use Chrome of course, so I’m using it here for demonstration purposes only. When Microsoft updates Edge to be compatible with this interface, I will switch to that browser.

OK, once the browser is installed, open the Settings app and scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find the third-party apps listed alphabetically under the section with Apple’s apps.

Select Chrome (or another browser).

Then, select Default Browser App. It will be set to Safari by default.

Select Chrome. Then, exit Settings or back out of this interface.

From now on, when you select a browser link in any application in iOS, your preferred browser will open instead of Safari.

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Conversation 20 comments

  • mclark2112

    Premium Member
    11 September, 2020 - 2:32 pm

    <p>Great new change, will I be able to delete safari like I can with Apple Maps too?</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      12 September, 2020 - 11:54 am

      I doubt that.

  • coeus89

    Premium Member
    11 September, 2020 - 2:43 pm

    <p>Does this work with email clients as well?</p>

    • mclark2112

      Premium Member
      11 September, 2020 - 2:50 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#573260">In reply to coeus89:</a></em></blockquote><p>Don't see the same option, maybe it's somewhere else if it exists.</p>

    • digiguy

      Premium Member
      11 September, 2020 - 4:00 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#573260">In reply to coeus89:</a></em></blockquote><p>You can already choose the default app in GMAIL, but the problem is that the only browsers are safari and chrome, there is no way to choose other browsers to open gmail links… Hope that the new system will allow me to use firefox, but I doubt it….</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      12 September, 2020 - 11:50 am

      It will as soon as email apps implement this new API.

      • anoldamigauser

        Premium Member
        12 September, 2020 - 4:25 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#573880">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>Outlook lets you choose which browser to open links with, and Edge can be selected. </p>

  • ebraiter

    11 September, 2020 - 3:09 pm

    <p>Oh boy! ChrEdge on iOS! :-)</p>

  • nanovak

    Premium Member
    11 September, 2020 - 3:11 pm

    <p>Have we heard if the (Cr)Edge team plans to enable this? I'm hoping this will flow to other apps to, like Slack, so I can have links from that app open Edge instead of Chrome (Slack supports opening links in Chrome today, I'm assuming via a direct inter-app API).</p>

    • SvenJ

      Premium Member
      11 September, 2020 - 9:59 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#573272"><em>In reply to nanovak:</em></a><em> </em>Interestingly links in Outlook, open Edge today as well. In iOS 13.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • pesos

    Premium Member
    11 September, 2020 - 3:13 pm

    <p>Doesn't work with chrEdge, only Chrome so far. Sounds like the app developer has to add support for it.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      12 September, 2020 - 11:49 am

      Right. That’s in the post.

  • PStansberry78

    11 September, 2020 - 3:44 pm

    <p>That's the screwiest implementation of this I think I could possibly imagine… LOL.</p><p><br></p><p>I was super-excited to read this headline, until I realized that the strange implementation puts the onus of this on the individual application developers instead of the OS, which would make sense. I cannot roll my eyes hard enough to express how I feel about this. Any word from MS on when they will update Edge to support this?</p><p><br></p><p>Better than nothing I suppose. But still… very strange.</p><p><br></p><p>Paul</p>

    • behindmyscreen

      14 September, 2020 - 7:35 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#573317">In reply to PStansberry78:</a></em></blockquote><p>When you want to make sure developers can't abuse this feature then you will require a positive opt in that requires a review by the app store staff.</p>

  • IanYates82

    Premium Member
    11 September, 2020 - 5:42 pm

    <p>Weird edge isn't available for it yet. I suspect it will be quickly </p><p><br></p><p>What's not changing is that you're still using the safari webkit engine for HTML and JavaScript. No chrome blink or Firefox quantum, etc and their better support for emerging standards (eg the ones that could allow for something like xcloud to maybe have a chance within a browser) </p>

    • SvenJ

      Premium Member
      11 September, 2020 - 9:55 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#573409"><em>In reply to IanYates82:</em></a><em> </em>Safari doesn't have any problem running xCloud. It was there in Beta. Apple just couldn't figure out how they were going to monitize streaming services.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • crunchyfrog

    Premium Member
    12 September, 2020 - 6:41 pm

    <p>Unless I am mistaken, this option, as nice as it is, really does not help so much since all browsers are required to run Webkit anyways which Safari runs on. Other than sync options, it seems you'd end up with the same tech under the hood no matter which browser you choose.</p>

    • behindmyscreen

      14 September, 2020 - 7:33 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#574031">In reply to crunchyfrog:</a></em></blockquote><p>That has always been the case. What this does is allow you to tie your phone into the ecosystem you are interested in being tied into (Google, Microsoft, Opera) so you can use associated services and syncing that you already have set up.</p>

  • behindmyscreen

    14 September, 2020 - 7:36 am

    <p>I did this with Chrome and….wow, I can really tell the difference between Chrome and Edge now…..I want Edge to update yesterday!</p>

  • markjulmar

    16 September, 2020 - 10:25 am

    <p>Edge supports this as of today — just switched my default.</p>


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