How to Set Default Browser and E-Mail Programs in Windows 7 and Vista - dummies

How to Set Default Browser and E-Mail Programs in Windows 7 and Vista

By Dan Gookin

You can browse the Internet or pick up your email in more than one way. There are several web browsers available and a number of different local email readers. To specify which programs are set up in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Choose Programs, and then beneath the heading Default Programs, click the link Set Your Default Programs.

    The window probably should read Set the Computer’s Default Programs because you, a human, have no default programs.

    Though the default programs inventory isn’t specific to Internet programs, you will find Internet programs in the list.


  3. Choose from the list the program you want to use as your web browser.

    One example is Firefox.

  4. Choose the option Set This Program As Default.

  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for your email program.

  6. Click OK.

Whenever you install new Internet software, such as a new email program or web browser, it typically asks whether you want it to be the “default.” Answering Yes at that time sets the new software as the main program. There’s no need to go through the preceding set of steps.

  • Internet Explorer is the preferred web browser in Windows. Sometimes, it runs because Windows wants it to run, regardless of which browser you set up as the default web browser.

  • Some programs, such as Internet Explorer, incessantly ask whether you want them to be the defaults every dang doodle time they run, even after you specify another program as the default.