How to change the default browser on a Mac computer

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Both professional Mac users and those new to this technology want advice on how to stay as focused as possible when working on their computers. To utilise all the features of a Mac and work efficiently, it's important to know how to use its basic functions. This may include changing the default Internet browser to an application you're more comfortable and familiar with. In this article, we demonstrate how to change the default browser on a Mac computer and offer some key tips to help you use a Mac for work purposes.

What's a default browser?

Your default browser is the program that loads a file from the Internet or other page when you click on it. When you use Mac's 'Spotlight' option and click on a web result, your default browser opens. Any activity that requires the opening of a URL opens in that browser. This doesn't prevent you from using other browsers to access the Internet. For instance, you're not required to change your default browser to view sites in Chrome, even though Safari is the default browser on a Mac. If you wish, you can copy and paste links between different browsers.

You may wish to change their default browser. This can be for a number of reasons. For example, a website you use frequently may be incompatible with your default browser. Other people may enjoy the features of a specific browser compared to their default browser and wish to change it due to their personal preferences.

Related: Top 9 basic computer skills and why they're useful

How to change the default browser on a Mac computer

If you've recently changed your computer or used websites with specific requirements, you may have wondered how to change the default browser on your Mac. Apple's Safari application is the default browser on all Mac computers. Even if you click specific URLs in other programs, Safari opens them automatically. Safari is a fast web browser that works well for most web requirements, but it contains certain limitations. Other browsers may load data at a faster speed for particular websites. For example, online functions operated by Microsoft may perform better in Microsoft Edge.

You can change the default browser on your Mac through either of the following two methods:

1. System Preferences

Click the Apple symbol on the top-left side of the computer and access 'System Preferences' from the drop-down menu. Select 'General' on the top-left side of System Preferences. Then, select the 'drop-down' beside Default Web Browser on the General page. The drop-down list shows all the web browsers you've installed on your PC. Select one to make it your default option. When you click on links to view them, they now appear in the browser of your choice.

2. Browser settings

There remain hundreds of online browsers to choose from, and the process for making them your preferred browser differs significantly for each one. For Microsoft Edge, open the browser and click the 'three dots' in the top-right corner of the screen. Select 'Settings'. From here, you can set the default browser by scrolling down to the 'Default browser' tab and clicking 'Make default'. A box then appears, asking you to confirm your choice.

Benefits of working with a Mac

As employees may live in different cities, countries and time zones, collaborating can sometimes be difficult. Apple's devices and software provide useful solutions to this issue. Apple's collaborative tools offer administrative security. Each year, the App Store launches thousands of additional apps. This allows employees to collaborate using an iPhone or Mac computer, among many other Apple devices, at any time or place.

A Mac makes it easy to stay organised when using it for work. For a variety of reasons, having a well-organised computer is crucial to fostering an effective working atmosphere. It's critical for employees to understand what's going on, who they can report to and what they're supposed to be working on at any time. The better a company organises its employees and services, the greater its productivity and employee satisfaction is.

How to efficiently use your Mac for work

Whether you work from home or use a computer in your workplace, you can tailor your setup to match your surrounding environment. The easiest way to work productively and lower your everyday stress levels is to have your Mac set up for professional functionalities and make the most out of its features. You can do this by considering the following options:

1. Use Siri

Those unfamiliar with Macs may be unaware of Siri's capabilities. Siri is a voice-activated feature of many Apple devices that follows voice commands. You can use Siri to arrange appointments, convert currency, call colleagues, create reminders and get answers to your enquiries. Siri is useful when working from your computer as you can operate it hands-free, allowing you to complete multiple tasks at once.

2. Take calls from your Mac

Some people find it useful to put their mobile phones elsewhere when working to ensure limited distractions from notifications and social media platforms. You may be unable to do this if your phone is integral to your work. To ensure you can still use your phone for important communications at work while removing the distractions of the phone itself, you can link your phone to your Mac. Once you link the devices, you can see when your iPhone accepts a call or text on your computer. You have the option of answering or responding directly.

3. Use Mac's Screen Time feature to help you stay focused

Apple's Screen Time software comes pre-installed on any Mac. This is a beneficial tool for time management as it offers a number of features that help you avoid getting distracted. Select the 'Screen Time' button in System Preferences. The very first screen shows you how you use your computer. After that, in the left margin, hit the 'App Limits' option. Here, select an app or group to limit by clicking the 'Add button'. Set a general time limit or customise it for each day. If you struggle to concentrate when working, this may be a good option to consider.

4. Use your iPad as a secondary display

If you work in an office, you may have a second monitor that allows you to multitask easily. If it's difficult for you to fit all your open windows onto a smaller display at home, an iPad can provide more screen space. Anyone with a MacBook Pro from 2016 or later can connect their iPad to their desktop and use the Sidecar function. Select the 'AirPlay' icon on the Mac toolbar that appears like a square with a triangle beneath it to activate this wired or wireless function. Select 'connect to your iPad' from the drop-down menu.

5. Use Split View to help you multitask

Split View helps you remain focused and complete tasks. Select the 'green circle button' near the top left of any configuration window on the Mac to allow two windows beside each other. A drop-down menu appears when you click and press the mouse cursor. Choose from three alternative options, switch to full-screen mode or move the windows to the left or right of the screen. When you choose one half of the screen, the opposite side of the computer monitor displays all of your open apps. Multitask by opening one of these applications on the other side of the screen.

6. Sign documents digitally

You can sign PDFs and other documents online using just a pencil, paper and a camera on iOS. Simply sign a white sheet of paper in ink and lift it up to the camera. You can then store the digital copy of your signatures on your Mac and click and drag it onto documents that need signing. On your Mac, click 'Preview', then pick 'Signatures' from the Preferences panel. Select 'Signature', then bring your signature up to the computer's camera.

Related: How to sign electronically when handling work documents

7. Familiarise yourself with Finder

On a Mac, you can improve your work access by using Finder to organise your files and folders. You can also add iCloud key files to your designated work area. This way, you can access your work from any device. Select the sorting option that remains the most beneficial to your working style.

8. Keep your desktop tidy with Stacks

Keep your desktops clean with a useful tool developed by Apple called Stacks, which can organise all of your work files. Click an empty section on the Desktop, go to the 'View menu', and select 'Use Stacks'. The Mac quickly sorts your files into helpful stacks based on their kind. To see what's within a Stack, simply click on it.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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