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What does 'default' mean ?

Posted

I repeatedly come across the term   default browser, or  default search engine  .....
Now,  I know what  default  means,   but in a completely different context  (f.i.   judgement by default  or win by default )   .....
I've tried to find the answer on sites like   ComputerHope  , but can't find an answer anywhere.
Could somebody, please,   once and for all,  explain it to me    -     in plain English  (I'm Dutch;  so : have mercy  ..... )   ?
Thank you in anticipation   !
Happy112.

I repeatedly come across the term &nbsp; ''default browser'',&nbsp;or &nbsp;''default search engine'' &nbsp;.....<BR> Now,&nbsp; I know what &nbsp;''default''&nbsp; means, &nbsp; but in a completely different context &nbsp;(f.i. &nbsp; ''judgement by default''&nbsp; or ''win by default''&nbsp;) &nbsp; ..... <BR> I've tried to find the answer on sites like &nbsp; ''ComputerHope'' &nbsp;, but can't find an answer anywhere.<BR> Could somebody, please, &nbsp; once and for all, &nbsp;explain it to me &nbsp; &nbsp;- &nbsp; &nbsp; in plain English &nbsp;(I'm Dutch;&nbsp; so :&nbsp;''have mercy'' &nbsp;.....&nbsp;) &nbsp; ?<BR> Thank you in anticipation &nbsp; !<BR> Happy112.

Modified by Happy112

Chosen solution

Hi Happy123,

Sorry I do not speak Dutch. I suppose it means the one you normally use unless you specify something else.

The default browser for instance is likely to be the one that kicks in when you try to open a link to something on the internet. The default search engine is the one that will normally be used on searches of the internet.

In the case of Firefox there are multiple methods of searching, for instance the addressbar, the home page and just highlighting text within a web page may provide a search opportunity, these all use whatever search engine is set as the default. See also

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John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Chosen Solution

Hi Happy123,

Sorry I do not speak Dutch. I suppose it means the one you normally use unless you specify something else.

The default browser for instance is likely to be the one that kicks in when you try to open a link to something on the internet. The default search engine is the one that will normally be used on searches of the internet.

In the case of Firefox there are multiple methods of searching, for instance the addressbar, the home page and just highlighting text within a web page may provide a search opportunity, these all use whatever search engine is set as the default. See also

Hi Happy123, Sorry I do not speak Dutch. I suppose it means the one you normally use unless you specify something else. The default browser for instance is likely to be the one that kicks in when you try to open a link to something on the internet. The default search engine is the one that will normally be used on searches of the internet. In the case of Firefox there are multiple methods of searching, for instance the addressbar, the home page and just highlighting text within a web page may provide a search opportunity, these all use whatever search engine is set as the default. See also * [[Make Firefox your default browser]] *[[Configuration Options for Search]] *https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/default#English **4 <blockquote>A selection made in the absence of an alternative.  [quotations ▲] <br/> '' The man became the leader of the group as a default.'' ... <br/>default ‎(plural default, comparable) <br/>''' (computing) being a default setting or value''' </blockquote>

Question owner

Thank you, John  !
I'd be lying if I said that now all of a sudden  'I get it' , cause I don't;   but somewhere,  above the horizon,  it's beginning to dawn   .......  (I think   ....)
When I hear somebody say  "I'm using a default browser"  , it somehow sounds to me like he's using that browser for lack of something better;   but that can't be it,   can it   ?
First thing I'm gonna do now is check out those links you gave me;   I'll get back to you to let you know how that worked out,   okay   ?
Greetings from Happy112.

Thank you, John &nbsp;!<BR> I'd be lying if I said that now all of a sudden &nbsp;'I get it'&nbsp;, cause I don't; &nbsp; but somewhere,&nbsp; above the horizon,&nbsp; it's beginning to dawn &nbsp; .......&nbsp (I think &nbsp; ....)<BR> When I hear somebody say&nbsp; "I'm using a default browser" &nbsp;, it somehow sounds to me like he's using that browser for lack of something better; &nbsp; but that can't be it, &nbsp; can it &nbsp; ?<BR> First thing I'm gonna do now is check out those links you gave me; &nbsp; I'll get back to you to let you know how that worked out, &nbsp; okay &nbsp; ?<BR> Greetings from Happy112.

Question owner

Hi John  !
I just checked out those links, and I'm back where I was yesterday, when I posted another question:   I wanted to know how I could be sure that Firefox actually  ís  my browser   (which prompted somebody to make me feel like I'm a lunatic for even asking such a dumb question)  .....
You see:  my laptop's operating system is Windows 10;   now am I right in asuming that my default browser is Edge  (it's not iE)   ?
But now I just read;   if you have more than one browser installed any links that you click on will automatically open in your default browser.
That would mean that any page I open, opens in Edge  (being my default browser)  but I'd recognize Edge immediately  (don't like it at all); and I'm pretty sure that Firefox is my browser  (all that's missing is a Firefox-icon, so that I can actually   see  that it's FF I'm dealing with   .......  although:   while I'm working,  FF gives me plenty of  signs   (warnings, when I'm on a page dealing with mixed content f.i.  )
So let me see if I got this straight:
While Firefox is my browser  by choice ;   Edge is my default browser   ...........
Please tell me I'm at least on the right track   ?
Later   ?
Greetings from Happy112.

Hi John &nbsp;!<BR> I just checked out those links, and I'm back where I was yesterday, when I posted another question: &nbsp; I wanted to know how I could be sure that Firefox actually &nbsp;''ís''&nbsp; my browser &nbsp; (which prompted somebody to make me feel like I'm a lunatic for even asking such a dumb question)&nbsp; ..... <BR> You see: &nbsp;my laptop's operating system is Windows 10; &nbsp; now am I right in asuming that my default browser is Edge &nbsp;(it's not iE) &nbsp; ?<BR> But now I just read; &nbsp; ''if you have more than one browser installed any links that you click on will automatically open in your default browser''.<BR> That would mean that any page I open, opens in Edge &nbsp;(being my default browser)&nbsp; but I'd recognize Edge immediately &nbsp;(don't like it at all); and I'm pretty sure that Firefox is my browser &nbsp;(all that's missing is a Firefox-icon, so that I can actually &nbsp; '''see'''&nbsp; that it's FF I'm dealing with &nbsp; .......&nbsp; although: &nbsp; while I'm working,&nbsp; FF gives me plenty of &nbsp;''signs'' &nbsp; (warnings, when I'm on a page dealing with mixed content f.i. &nbsp;)<BR> So let me see if I got this straight:<BR> While Firefox is my browser &nbsp;'''by choice'''&nbsp;; &nbsp; Edge is my default browser &nbsp; ........... <BR> Please tell me I'm at least on the right track &nbsp; ?<BR> Later &nbsp; ?<BR> Greetings from Happy112.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Sorry it is not an easy concept to explain because the word does mean different things in different situations,

Yes Windows will have a default browser. The browser they install and you use unless you change it. That was until recently some version of the rather controversial Internet Explorer. Now with Windows 10 it will be Edge.

if you have more than one browser installed any links that you click on will automatically open in your default browser.

That is correct. Initially IE or Edge is your default browser, but if you use Firefox you may wish to set that as the default browser.

If you set Firefox to be your default browser you may expect that things like internet links may display with Firefox icons, otherwise they will have an IE or Edge icon

Sorry it is not an easy concept to explain because the word does mean different things in different situations, Yes Windows will have a default browser. The browser they install and you use unless you change it. That was until recently some version of the rather controversial Internet Explorer. Now with Windows 10 it will be Edge. <blockquote> if you have more than one browser installed any links that you click on will automatically open in your default browser. </blockquote> That is correct. Initially IE or Edge is your default browser, but if you use Firefox you may wish to set that as the default browser. * [[Make Firefox your default browser]] If you set Firefox to be your default browser you may expect that things like internet links may display with Firefox icons, otherwise they will have an IE or Edge icon

Question owner

But, I  (almost) never use Edge: I either use shortcuts or I click on the Mozilla-icon on my task bar  (if that's the proper term   ?  ),  and that's just about the only Mozilla-icon I get to see.
But why would I want to change any of it   ?
Knowing me,   I'd probably wind up making a huge mess of things   .........
But at least now I know what a default browser is,   right   ....... ?  (feel free to tell me if I still got it wrong)  .......
I'm going to say that this problem is solved  (don't want to waste any more of your time)  and say:   thank you so much   !
Enjoy the rest of your evening   !
Greetings from Amy.

But, I &nbsp;(almost)&nbsp;never use Edge: I either use shortcuts or I click on the Mozilla-icon on my task bar &nbsp;(if that's the proper term &nbsp; ? &nbsp;), &nbsp;and that's just about the only Mozilla-icon I get to see.<BR> But why would I want to change any of it &nbsp; ?<BR> Knowing me, &nbsp; I'd probably wind up making a huge mess of things &nbsp; ......... <BR> But at least now I know what a default browser is, &nbsp; right &nbsp; .......&nbsp;?&nbsp; (feel free to tell me if I still got it wrong)&nbsp; .......<BR> I'm going to say that this problem is solved &nbsp;(don't want to waste any more of your time)&nbsp; and say: &nbsp; thank you so much &nbsp; !<BR> Enjoy the rest of your evening &nbsp; !<BR> Greetings from Amy.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Happy112 said

But, I  (almost) never use Edge: I either use shortcuts or I click on the Mozilla-icon on my task bar  (if that's the proper term   ?  ),  and that's just about the only Mozilla-icon I get to see.
But why would I want to change any of it   ?

You may already have changed it so that Firefox is your default browser. If shortcuts work and open Firefox that is probably because Firefox 'IS your default Browser, otherwise they would open Edge.

Sounds like tou now understand the situation.

''Happy112 [[#answer-898140|said]]'' <blockquote> But, I &nbsp;(almost)&nbsp;never use Edge: I either use shortcuts or I click on the Mozilla-icon on my task bar &nbsp;(if that's the proper term &nbsp; ? &nbsp;), &nbsp;and that's just about the only Mozilla-icon I get to see.<BR> But why would I want to change any of it &nbsp; ?<BR> </blockquote> You may already have changed it so that Firefox is your default browser. If shortcuts work and open Firefox that is probably because Firefox '''IS'' your default Browser, otherwise they would open Edge. Sounds like tou now understand the situation.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Amy, This is a little exercise you could try. It will show what the default browser is.

  1. Right click anywhere empty on the Windows 10 desktop.
  2. Use: New -> Text Document that will create a text document. It will call it New Text Document.txt although you may not see the ending. (Right click and use properties as one method of seeing the full name.) Unless you have changed the defaults it will have an icon representing a piece of lined paper, and will by default open with MS Windows Notepad.
  3. Put something in it. Double click or right click and open.
  4. Now save the document use Save as but call it fx.html (take care not to call it fx.html.txt . Use the all files option)
  5. The new document will appear on the desktop this time it should have a Firefox logo in it instead of a lined paper icon. That will open in Firefox. (It is not a proper html page but Firefox will be able to open it, but it will look strange and not contain working links)

If edge or Internet Explorer is set as your default browser it would have their logo instead of the Firefox one.


To learn more about Firefox try looking at

To learn more about computers or Windows there are many resources on the internet, you could for instance try the forum and tutorials at tenforums.com


Let's add code for some of the links

<a href="http://www.tenforums.com">tenforums</a> <a href="https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink">wikiHyperlink</a> <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/products/firefox">FirefoxHelp</a>

Amy, This is a little exercise you could try. It will show what the default browser is. # Right click anywhere empty on the Windows 10 desktop. # Use: ''New'' -> ''Text Document'' that will create a text document. It will call it ''New Text Document.txt'' although you may not see the ending. (Right click and use properties as one method of seeing the full name.) Unless you have changed the defaults it will have an icon representing a piece of lined paper, and will by default open with MS Windows Notepad. # Put something in it. Double click or right click and open. #* You could paste the text of this post into it. With the cursor in the post Use Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C. Move to the open document and use Ctrl+V {[[Keyboard shortcuts - Perform common Firefox tasks quickly#w_editing]]_editing ) # Now save the document use ''Save as'' but call it fx.html (take care not to call it ''fx.html.txt'' . Use the all files option) # The new document will appear on the desktop this time it should have a Firefox logo in it instead of a lined paper icon. That will open in Firefox. (It is not a proper html page but Firefox will be able to open it, but it will look strange and not contain working links) If edge or Internet Explorer is set as your default browser it would have their logo instead of the Firefox one. ---------- To learn more about Firefox try looking at * The tour (also from Menu -> Help -> Tour <br/> https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/tour/ {That is interactive) *Plain web page https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/desktop/ it scrolls *'''[[Get started with Firefox - An overview of the main features]] ''' * Browse the main help articles starting [/products/firefox here] (Also from Menu {Three bar icon) -> Help {(?) icon) -> Firefox help) To learn more about computers or Windows there are many resources on the internet, you could for instance try the forum and tutorials at tenforums.com ------ Let's add code for some of the links <a href="http://www.tenforums.com">tenforums</a> <a href="https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink">wikiHyperlink</a> <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/products/firefox">FirefoxHelp</a>

Question owner

Hi   John,
You sure are putting me to work here  !
But I'm gonna try,  and try and try,  until I get it right.
I just finished my first HTML tryout, and the page   (that shows the result)   has that  'e'   (as in   Edge  )   on it   .......   not a good sign, eh   ?
Thank you so much for everything   !!!
Have a lovely day   !
Greetings from   Happy112.
By the way:   you just blew my cover   .......

Hi &nbsp; John,<BR> You sure are putting me to work here &nbsp!<BR> But I'm gonna try,&nbsp; and try and try,&nbsp; until I get it right. <BR> I just finished my first HTML tryout, and the page &nbsp; (that shows the result) &nbsp; has that&nbsp; 'e' &nbsp; (as in &nbsp; ''Edge'' &nbsp;) &nbsp; on it &nbsp; ....... &nbsp; not a good sign, eh &nbsp; ?<BR> Thank you so much for everything&nbsp; !!!<BR> Have a lovely day &nbsp; !<BR> Greetings from &nbsp; Happy112.<BR> By the way: &nbsp; you just blew my cover &nbsp; .......

Question owner

.....   and I'm back,   after I've just done what you told me to do.
And the result:   see this screenshot     -     it speaks for itself   ........
And I just found out that there's a faster way to do this:   go directly to Notepad instead of creating a shortcut first   ......   (I'm learning   .....)

..... &nbsp; and I'm back, &nbsp; after I've just done what you told me to do.<BR> And the result: &nbsp; see this screenshot &nbsp; &nbsp - &nbsp; &nbsp; it speaks for itself &nbsp; ........ <BR> And I just found out that there's a faster way to do this: &nbsp; go directly to Notepad instead of creating a shortcut first &nbsp; ...... &nbsp; (I'm learning &nbsp; .....)

Modified by Happy112

Question owner

Here's a screenshot,   just to prove that I am indeed folllowing your advice  (check out the tabs   ...... )
A lot to take in, but:   thank you   !
Greetings from  'Happy112'
P.S.:  Just added a screenshot   ......   (overlooked it earlier)

Here's a screenshot, &nbsp; just to prove that I am indeed folllowing your advice &nbsp;(check out the tabs &nbsp; ...... )<BR> A lot to take in, but: &nbsp; '''thank you''' &nbsp; !<BR> Greetings from&nbsp; 'Happy112'<BR> P.S.:&nbsp; Just added a screenshot &nbsp; ...... &nbsp; (overlooked it earlier)

Modified by Happy112

John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi again Happy112 It appears that you do still have Edge set as the default browser.

Please try following these instructions

Hi again Happy112 It appears that you do still have Edge set as the default browser. Please try following these instructions * [[Make Firefox your default browser]] * '''[[How to change your default browser in Windows 10]] ''' <br/>[[Image:firefox default 10]]

Question owner

Hiya   John,
I'm inclined to go ahead and do it;   quite frankly I've been thinking about it before,  but since  Windows10  is my laptop's operating system, I'm just so afraid that I might   beep-off   Microsoft   (pardon my French)  and that's the last thing I wanna do   -     I  need  Windows while working with Notepad and Word  ......
But thank you  (again   !)
Have a lovely day  (or pleasant dreams,   whichever the case may be).
Greetings from   'Happy112'  (who feels like a first-year student again).
P.S.:  I only use  Bing/Edge  while working in  Word  and on my  HTML-skills   -   for everything else I use  Google/FF 

Hiya &nbsp; John,<BR> I'm inclined to go ahead and do it; &nbsp; quite frankly I've been thinking about it before,&nbsp; but since &nbsp;Windows10&nbsp; is my laptop's operating system, I'm just so afraid that I might &nbsp; ''beep-off'' &nbsp; Microsoft &nbsp; (pardon my French)&nbsp; and that's the last thing I wanna do&nbsp; &nbsp;- &nbsp; &nbsp; I &nbsp;''need''&nbsp; Windows while working with Notepad and Word&nbsp; ......<BR> But thank you &nbsp;(again &nbsp; !)<BR> Have a lovely day &nbsp;(or pleasant dreams, &nbsp; whichever the case may be).<BR> Greetings from &nbsp; 'Happy112'&nbsp; (who feels like a first-year student again).<BR> P.S.:&nbsp; I only use &nbsp;Bing/Edge&nbsp; while working in &nbsp;Word&nbsp; and on my &nbsp;''HTML-skills''&nbsp;&nbsp; - &nbsp; for everything else I use &nbsp;Google/FF&nbsp;

Modified by Happy112

John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Note you may still use Firefox if you wish without setting it as the default browser. Just set up a shortcut for Firefox on the desktop or start menu, or search for it in the Windows 10 apps list under M for Mozilla Firefox It will not harm Windows in any way to set Firefox as the default browser.

Totally off topic for a Firefox forum, but possibly consider using LibreOffice instead of having to rely on paid for Office.

Hope you enjoy learning about computers & Firefox, and although this is not the place to learn about computers in general I am sure you will find out more by browsing with Firefox.

Note you may still use Firefox if you wish without setting it as the default browser. Just set up a shortcut for Firefox on the desktop or start menu, or search for it in the Windows 10 apps list under M for Mozilla Firefox It will not harm Windows in any way to set Firefox as the default browser. Totally off topic for a Firefox forum, but possibly consider using LibreOffice instead of having to rely on paid for Office. * https://wikipedia.org/wiki/LibreOffice *libreoffice.org Hope you enjoy learning about computers & Firefox, and although this is not the place to learn about computers in general I am sure you will find out more by browsing with Firefox.

Question owner

Man,  you're good    !!!
'Told you you're a credit to this forum and you just proved me right  (again  ! )
Shall we call it a day as far as this topic is concerned  ?
I'm afraid others may get sick and tired of it  (and I'm amazed that you haven't sent me to Coventry yet   ......)
Thank you so much for everything   !!!
Greetings from   'Happy112'.

Man,&nbsp; you're good &nbsp; !!!<BR> 'Told you you're a credit to this forum and you just proved me right &nbsp;(again &nbsp;!&nbsp;)<BR> Shall we call it a day as far as this topic is concerned &nbsp;?<BR> I'm afraid others may get sick and tired of it &nbsp;(and I'm amazed that you haven't sent me to Coventry yet &nbsp; ......)<BR> Thank you so much for everything &nbsp; !!!<BR> Greetings from &nbsp; 'Happy112'.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

This is already marked solved, not many people will be looking at it. OK sounds like you are done with this good luck.

This is already marked solved, not many people will be looking at it. OK sounds like you are done with this good luck.

Question owner

For closure:   here's a screenshot that finally proves that Firefox   really is   my browser   (you'll have to click on it to see the upper part, where the FF-icon is)  ..........  yippee   !

For closure: &nbsp; here's a screenshot that finally proves that Firefox &nbsp; ''really is'' &nbsp; my browser &nbsp; (you'll have to click on it to see the upper part, where the FF-icon is)&nbsp; ..........&nbsp; yippee &nbsp; !

Question owner

..... and I just found out that all that screenshot proves is, that the radio-station I was listening to uses  Firefox   ..........
I think it's time this first-year student changes her major   .......

..... and I just found out that all that screenshot proves is, that the radio-station I was listening to uses &nbsp;Firefox &nbsp; ..........<BR> I think it's time this first-year student changes her major &nbsp; .......

Question owner

At last   !!!!   'been at it since  07.00 AM   (it's 14.52 PM over here right now)  ........   but now I finally,   finally got prove that   'Firefox really is my browser    !!!
See screenshot   (it's right above the word   'openen',  )
Maybe there's hope for me yet   .......

At last &nbsp; !!!! &nbsp; 'been at it since&nbsp; 07.00 AM &nbsp; (it's 14.52 PM over here right now)&nbsp; ........ &nbsp; but now I finally, &nbsp; finally got prove that &nbsp; '''Firefox really is my browser'' &nbsp; !!!<BR> See screenshot &nbsp; (it's right above the word &nbsp; 'openen', &nbsp;)<BR> Maybe there's hope for me yet &nbsp .......

Modified by Happy112

Question owner

Microsoft trying to prevent clients from using Firefox instead of Edge does not   pertain to  'Firefox-issues'  ?   Huh   ???

Microsoft trying to prevent clients from using Firefox instead of Edge does '''not''' &nbsp pertain to &nbsp;'Firefox-issues'&nbsp; ? &nbsp; Huh &nbsp; ??? <BR>

Question owner

'Just couldn't let it go and followed some more of the instructions that you sent me earlier.
I don't know what it is I did,   but all of a sudden in all my folders this   'page 2'  that used to have this   'e'  (as in 'Edge')  , now has the FF-icon on it;  (even in the recycle bin).
Then I noticed this   Firefox Setup Stub.47.0.1  , that I must have downloaded   .......
When I clicked on it the first time  (it looked different then)   I got a message   from the hard drive   asking me to allow this app to make chances etc..  (I got scared and didn't dare to click on   'yes'  ).
A few minutes later it had changed it's appearance   again  
Now I've reached the point to where I'm shaking like a leaf and crying   ........... this is not what I expected when I bought a laptop,  exactly four months ago today   ............

'Just couldn't let it go and followed some more of the instructions that you sent me earlier.<BR> I don't know what it is I did, &nbsp; but all of a sudden in all my folders this &nbsp; 'page 2'&nbsp; that used to have this &nbsp; 'e'&nbsp; (as in 'Edge') &nbsp;, now has the FF-icon on it;&nbsp; (even in the recycle bin).<BR> Then I noticed this &nbsp; Firefox Setup Stub.47.0.1 &nbsp;, that I must have downloaded &nbsp; ....... <BR> When I clicked on it the first time &nbsp;(it looked different then) &nbsp; I got a message &nbsp; ''from the hard drive'' &nbsp; asking me to allow this app to make chances etc..&nbsp; (I got scared and didn't dare to click on &nbsp; 'yes' &nbsp;).<BR> A few minutes later it had changed it's appearance &nbsp; '''again ''' &nbsp;<BR> Now I've reached the point to where I'm shaking like a leaf and crying &nbsp; ...........&nbsp;this is not what I expected when I bought a laptop,&nbsp; exactly four months ago today &nbsp; ............

Modified by Happy112