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How to Change Default Browser and Mail Apps on iOS

Almost since the dawn of the App Store, we could download other messaging and navigation apps for iOS. We weren’t stuck with Mail and Safari except when tapping on a link. Then the link would open in Apple apps. This must no longer be the case. Modern versions of iOS allow you to change your default browser and messaging apps.

Set Up a Different Mail App on iOS

If you’re not a fan of Apple’s built-in email app for iOS, you can change your default to any email program you like. This is done in the Mail section of Settings. Just go to Settings > Mail > Default mail app.

All of your installed messaging apps appear in a list. Choose whichever you want to be by default. From then on, any messaging links you tap will open in your chosen messaging app.

Change your default browser: the same, but different

You might think that Apple would have put the default browser app option in the same kind of place. However, going to Settings > Safari shows no way to change your default browser. Don’t worry, this option is just in a different place.

ios change default browser

In fact, you’ll find the choice in all of your third-party browsers. Whether it’s Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or another browser, you’ll find the choice on its own page in Settings. For example, you will find the option in Settings > Chrome > Default browser app. Just pick the one you want to use and iOS will remember your choice.

Hoping for more customization options

Now Apple needs to let us change our defaults for other things, like phone calls and text messaging. That’s not likely to happen, but it would certainly be useful to be able to use Signal as your default text messaging app, for example.