How to Change Default Browser on iPhone or iPad

Introduction

With the release iOS 14 for the iPhone and iPadOS 14 for iPad in late 2020, Apple is making it possible for device owners to finally change their device’s default web browser. This means that any links you tap to a website will open in your new default browser. The only caveat is that this will only work with third-party browser apps that have been updated to be available to set as the default browser. For example, as of the time of this writing popular browser apps Google Chrome and Firefox could be set as the default browser on an iPhone or iPad, but Opera could not. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Change Default Browser on iPhone or iPad

  1. Tap “Settings” on your iPhone home screen to open the Settings menu, and then tap the name of the app associated with the web browser you want to set as the default web browser on your iPhone or iPad. In this example I’ll tap Google Chrome.
  2. Tap “Default Browser App” in the list of options. The Default Browser App window opens, showing you a list of all of your installed browser apps that can be set as your default web browser on your iPhone or iPad. In this example I’ll tap “Google Chrome” to place a check mark next to it and set it as my default browser. Going forward any links to a website you tap on your iPhone or iPad will open in your new default web browser.

5 Reasons to Change the iPhone or iPad Default Browser

1. Faster Browsing Speeds

One of the primary reasons to switch your default browser is for better performance. Different browsers use different rendering engines. Some, like Google Chrome, are known for speed and efficiency, which can result in faster page loads compared to Safari. This is particularly noticeable on websites that are heavy on JavaScript or other dynamic content. A quicker browser reduces frustration and enhances productivity, especially when you’re on the go. Plus, if you often find yourself waiting for pages to load on Safari, trying out a browser known for its speed might just be the solution.

2. Improved Privacy Features

Privacy is a huge concern in today’s digital age. Browsers like Firefox and Brave offer enhanced privacy features that are not available in Safari. These browsers block trackers by default, helping to keep your browsing habits and personal information secure from advertisers and malicious entities. This means less targeted advertising and reduced risk of malware. Moreover, if you’re someone who values privacy above all else, choosing a browser that puts this feature at the forefront can give you peace of mind every time you go online.

3. Better Syncing Across Devices

If you use multiple devices but Safari isn’t one of them, syncing your bookmarks, passwords, and history across all devices can be cumbersome. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox excel in this area. They offer seamless syncing capabilities across all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. This means you can start browsing on your iPhone and pick up exactly where you left off on your laptop or Android tablet. For those heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem or who prefer Firefox’s features, switching the default browser can simplify your tech life.

4. Access to Unique Extensions and Features

Safari has its strengths, but when it comes to extensions, it lags behind browsers like Chrome. The Chrome Web Store offers a myriad of extensions that enhance functionality, from productivity boosters like Grammarly to security tools like HTTPS Everywhere. These can transform your browsing experience by adding new features or improving existing ones. If there’s a particular extension you rely on that isn’t available for Safari, switching to a browser that supports it is a no-brainer.

5. Custom User Experience

Every user has unique needs and preferences when it comes to browsing the web. Different browsers offer different user experiences, interfaces, and functionalities. For example, Opera offers a built-in VPN and an ad blocker, while Edge provides integration with Microsoft services. If Safari’s interface feels too rigid or if you’re simply looking for a fresh look and feel, exploring other browsers can be refreshing. Customizing your browser to fit your specific needs can significantly improve your overall interaction with your device.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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