In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, you have gained the ability to change the default web browser to a compatible third-party app. This makes it so that your favorite browser launches when you click a web link instead of Apple’s homegrown Safari app. In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to change the default web browser on your iPhone and iPad.
About changing the default web browser
The ability to set the default web browser and email app was officially announced during the virtual WWDC 2020 presentation. The new feature became available to all users with the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 software updates that were released publicly on September 16, 2020.
Only Apple-approved iOS web browsers can become your new default web browser. Google’s Chrome app was first out of the gate with support for that functionality. Additional iOS browsers have since offered this ability, including Microsoft’s Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox.
How to change the default web browser on iPhone and iPad
Before proceeding, be sure that you’ve downloaded your favorite third-party web browser like Chrome or Firefox from the App Store. You cannot change the dealt web browser if you don’t have third-party web browsers installed on the device. If your favorite web browser currently does not support this feature, you’ll need to contact the app developer and ask them about it.
Follow these steps to change the default web browser on the iPhone and iPad:
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPod with iOS 14+ or your iPad with iPadOS 14+.
- Scroll until you find your favorite web browser, like Chrome or Firefox, then tap it.
- Now tap “Default Browser App.”
- Tap a listed web browser to set it as your new default.
For instance, choose “Chrome” if you’d like to set Chrome as the default iOS web browser. A checkmark should appear next to the browser to confirm it’s the default. If you don’t see the option to set a third-party web browser as your default, the developer might not support it.
Now tapping a web link on the web or in any iPhone or iPad app, such as Mail, Spark, Instagram and so forth, will launch the selected third-party web browser instead of Apple’s Safari. Note that your newly selected default web browser choice has no bearing on embedded Safari View Controller in certain apps that use it, including Twitter, Reeder and Slack.
For instance, tapping a link in Twitter for iOS opens an embedded Safari web view within the app, regardless of the default web browser. That said, however, you can tap the Safari icon in any embedded Safari Web Controller view if you’d like to open the link externally.
How to remove a web browser as the default
If you have changed iOS’s default web browser only to realize you don’t prefer the selected third-party app, remove it as the default by following the steps in the previous section.
“When you remove a web browser app, your iPhone will automatically set another web browser app as your default,” Apple notes. “For example, if you remove a third-party web browser app, your iPhone will set Safari as the default until you change it.”
Video: 50 new features in iOS 14
Will you be setting the default web browser to a third-party app of your liking? If so, which one? If not, why not? Be sure to chime in with your thoughts in the comments down below.