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Tech tips

How to change the default browser and search engine on Mac

Every computer comes with a default browser. It usually comes from a Big Tech company, and it’s not necessarily the best choice for everyone. You may want a browser with better privacy features or more customization options.

Windows PC users may remember Internet Explorer, which came bundled with the OS as far back as Windows 95. It was replaced by Edge, starting with Windows 10. You can change your PC’s default browser, along with the search engine, anytime you want. Tap or click here to learn how.

If you use a Mac, you’re likely used to Apple’s Safari browser. Safari has been the default browser for Mac computers since the release of Mac OS X Panther. But just as with a Windows PC, you can change the default browser and search engine.

Take a break from your Safari

While it’s not always best to use the browser that came with your computer, this isn’t necessarily a bad idea when it comes to Macs. Safari blocks malicious websites and protects you from malware and phishing scams while also blocking pop-ups.

Safari’s built-in password manager, Keychain, lets you know if a site you saved was involved in a data breach and helps you change your password. Tap or click here to check out some of the best browsers for privacy.

But if you want to change your Mac’s default browser, it’s easy. Here’s how:

  • Click the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > General.
  • Choose a web browser from the Default web browser menu.
  • If you don’t see the browser you want, go to its website and download it. You can install multiple browsers on your Mac and change the default one anytime you want.

To get Firefox, go to the download page and click the Download Now button.

To get Brave, go to the download page and click the macOS Intel or macOS ARM64 button, depending on your Mac’s configuration.

To get Tor, go to the download page and click the Download for macOS button.

To get Edge, go to the download page, click the Download for macOS button, then click the Mac with Intel chip or Mac with Apple chip button, depending on your Mac’s configuration.

RELATED: This new privacy-focused search engine wants to replace Google

Change your Mac’s default search engine

Safari uses Google as its default search engine, but you can change this at any time. Here’s how:

  • Open Safari > Preferences, then click Search.
  • Click the Search Engine menu and make your choice.

You’ll see DuckDuckGo as one of your choices. This browser was built with privacy at the forefront and doesn’t use targeted ads. So how does it make money? Tap or click here to find out.

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