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

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  • Creator: AliceWyman
  • Comment: updated links based on renamed article, to "Make Firefox your default browser
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  • Reviewed by: jsavage
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This article describes alternate ways of setting Firefox as the default browser when setting it from the Firefox optionspreferences window does not work.

Symptoms of this problem can include:

  • Firefox reports that it is not the default browser when you check using the Firefox optionspreferences window.
  • 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.

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 Make Firefox your default browser article and found that they did not work.

Using your operating system

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.


Windows XP

  1. Click the Start button, then click on the Control Panel icon to open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the Add or Remove Programs icon to open the Add or Remove Programs applet.
  3. On the left side of the window, click the Set Program Access and Defaults icon.
  4. Click on the Custom radio button to expand the Custom category.
  5. Underneath Choose a default Web browser click the radio button next to Mozilla Firefox.

  6. Click OK at the bottom of the window.

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.
  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.

Troublesome programs

Some programs are hard-coded to open Internet Explorer rather than the default browser. Programs that do this are listed below along with possible solutions, if available.

  • MSN Messenger
  • AIM 5.9 - upgrade to the latest version of AIM.