Setting Firefox as the default browser does not work - What to do

Firefox Firefox Last updated: 06/30/2023 45% of users voted this helpful

This article describes alternate ways of setting Firefox as your default browser when using the Settings panel does not work. Symptoms of this problem can include:

  • Firefox reports that it is not the default browser when you check using the Firefox Settings panel.
  • Firefox prompts you to set Firefox as the default browser each time it starts.
  • Firefox does not open after clicking on links in other programs.
Note: Some links to Web content, such as Windows Search bar results and taskbar features that link to online news, weather, and other resources, use a protocol designed by Microsoft to always launch Microsoft Edge, even though Firefox is your default browser.

Using Firefox

The preferred method of setting Firefox as your default browser is described in the Make Firefox your default browser article. Most external programs will open links in Firefox if it is set to be the default browser using that method.

Follow the instructions below if you have tried the steps in the Make Firefox your default browser article and found that they did not work.

Using your operating system

Windows 11

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Type Default apps and select Default apps.
  3. Select Firefox from the list.
  4. Under Set default file types or link types, find the Make Firefox your default browser prompt at the top of the window and click Set default.

Windows 10

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu and click the Settings icon.
  2. Click Apps, then choose Default Apps on the left panel.
  3. Scroll down and click the entry under Web browser.
    default apps win10
  4. Click on Firefox in the dialog that opens with a list of available browsers.
    firefox default 10
  5. Firefox is now listed as your default browser. Close the Settings window to save your changes.

Windows 8

  1. Open the PC Settings application (press and release the Windows Start button, then click the gear icon).
  2. Select Search and apps from the sidebar.
  3. Select Defaults from the sidebar.
  4. In the Set Default Programs window, select Firefox from the list of programs on the left and click Set this program as default. Then click OK to close the window.
    Default - Win8 pt 2

Windows 7 and Vista

  1. Click on the Windows logo to open the Start menu, then select Control Panel. The Control Panel window will open.
  2. Click on the link labeled Programs. The Programs panel will open.

  3. Click on the link labeled Set your default programs. The Set your default programs panel will open.

  4. In the programs list on the left side of the window, click Firefox.
  5. In the right side of the window, click Set this program as default.

Note: If Firefox is not listed as a program choice, uninstall Firefox from your computer (the uninstaller does not remove any user data such as history or bookmarks) and then reinstall Firefox to see if that registers your Firefox web browser.

Ubuntu Linux

  1. In the System menu, open Preferences, then Preferred Applications.
  2. On the Internet tab under Web Browser, choose Firefox in the drop-down.
  3. Press Close.

Mandriva Linux + KDE 4

  1. In the KDE Systemsettings, go to the Advanced tab, then to the File associations icon.
  2. Click on the html tab under text, choose Firefox in the menu, rise it to the top of the list.
  3. Press Apply.

Fedora Linux + KDE 4

  1. In the Applications menu, open the System Setting tab, then go to the Default Applications icon.
  2. Click on the Web Browser line on the list of displayed services and type firefox in the Default Component menu.
  3. Press Apply.

Use one of these methods to set Firefox as the default browser on your Mac:

From the Apple menu

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Click General.
  3. Choose Firefox from the Default web browser drop-down menu.

From Safari

  1. From the Dock, open Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, click the Safari menu and select Preferences…
  3. Click the General icon, to display the General preferences panel.
  4. In the Default web browser: drop-down list, select Firefox.

  5. Quit Safari.

Problems with specific programs

Some programs may have features that open another browser to display content, even though Firefox is set as the default browser. For example:

  • Microsoft Outlook has a View in Browser feature that will open a browser window to display the content of an HTML email message. Outlook converts the message content to MHTML (MHT) format and then opens the program associated with that file type, normally Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.
  • Microsoft Outlook 365 opens links in Microsoft Edge by default. If you want the Outlook 365 desktop application to open links in your default browser, there is a setting for that in Outlook Options. (For more information, see this Microsoft Support article):

Choose default browser for links in Outlook 365

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