Whenever you install a program that can open a lot of different types of files, one of the questions that it will typically ask during installation is if you want to make that program the default. Many people do not notice this setting during installation or, in some cases, it isn’t even there. But if you accidentally set a program as the default choice in your Windows 7 installation, it does not have to stay as the default program indefinitely. This can come in handy when you want to make a browser change in Windows 7, such as if you want to learn how to make Windows Internet Explorer the default browser on your computer.
How to Set Windows Internet Explorer as Default
An interesting tidbit about the method that is described in this article is that you can use a similar approach to set other programs as the default choice, such as if you want to set Microsoft Outlook as your default email program, or if you want to set iTunes as your default media player. I like to point out these options because they are two programs that can be very insistent about wanting to be set as their respective default options. This goes for browser choices, too, many of which will include a nag screen at launch that will say something like “XX is not currently set as your default browser. Would you like to make it your default?” In fact, if you did not actively change to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your default browser, then there is a good chance that this is how you are in your current browser dilemma.
To begin the process of making Internet Explorer the default browser in Windows 7, click the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your screen. This is the blue orb containing the Windows logo, and it launches the Start menu.
Click the Default Programs button at the bottom of the right side of the Start menu. This opens a new Default Programs menu.
Click the Set your default programs link at the top-center portion of the window.
At the left side of this screen you will notice a list of programs on you computer that could theoretically be set as the default program for the types of files they can open. Along with the different Web browsers on your computer, you will also notice any Microsoft Office programs, utilities or productivity programs that you have installed at any point. If you want to see if a program has been set as the default option for its associated file types, you can click the program from this list, then look for the line at the center of the window that says “This program has x out of xx defaults.”
To make Internet Explorer the default Web browser in Windows 7, click the Internet Explorer option from the list at the left side of the window so that it is highlighted in blue.
Click the Set this program as default button at the bottom of the window, then wait for the line at the center of the window to say “This program has all its’ defaults.”
Any action that you take from this point on, such as clicking a link in a document or email, should open the linked page in Internet Explorer.