Android has always allowed you to set your favorite web browser and mail client as the default, while Apple iOS has forced you to use Safari and your own mail app on iOS when you click the web or mail link. Up to this point. With iOS 14, you finally have a choice. We show you that all the links are open in the browser and email app you want to use, as Apple hasn’t clearly enforced the ability.

If you use Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Opera (or even Vivaldi or Brave) on your desktop computer, Apple’s mobile navigation system can be very frustrating. When you open a web link from an app or an email, you will return to Safari when you lose all your synced passwords and other settings. The same goes for the email mailto link, annoying for very popular Outlook users, especially for the iOS email client.


I have to keep in mind what third party web browsers should do on iOS, but Safari is actually disabled. When you use Firefox, there are interfaces and functions that developers create in that browser application. As mentioned, syncing passwords and favorites with the desktop version is very important, but this is not the only feature of its kind. In contrast, when you install Firefox on Android phones, you actually get the full Firefox authoring engine that runs web programs. (Innovative browser makers Vivaldi may not have even decided to produce the iOS version).

Still, I was thrilled when I found the item judiciously presented in the full list of updates, stating that iOS 14 allows you to choose your own defaults. But there is no section called Default apps in the iOS Settings app. I had to do a bit of research to find it, but if you only update the apps that you want to set as default, you may face a splash screen that explains the process. Otherwise you need to go to the application settings.

Update: The initial version of iOS 14 has an annoying problem when it comes to setting up your browser and mail app of choice – if you turn off your iPhone and restart it, your settings are lost. The section to choose the default value does not appear on the Safari Settings page even after restarting. If you want to restore your choice, you will need to go through the process again below. Hopefully Apple will address this in an update soon.


  • Update your browser to the App Store. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Firefox, Opera, and Brave have not implemented the ability to set themselves as the default browser. Hope that changes soon. Surprisingly, the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo browser has the potential to be the default.
  • Open the main iOS Settings app (note that in-app settings generally don’t include the option) and scroll down to log into the browser you want to be the default. As mentioned, unlike other operating systems, Apple does not include a section to choose default apps in the iOS settings.
  • Touch the browser entry and scan the Access section until you find the default browser application option.
  • Touch the default browser application option.
  • Choose the browser you want to set as the default from the list and you’re good to go. From now on, the web pages will open in your favorite web browsing application. If you want to change the browser again later, go to the Safari section of the main Settings app, where you will see the option to set any eligible browser as the default.

After updating from the App Store, some browser apps will see a landing page encouraging you to set it by default. Your awesome Chrome isn’t one of them – if you have a browser of your choice, you’ll need to follow the steps above. Edge displays the home screen on the first run after the update. Hope all major browsers will finally ask you to set your app as default on first run after update. Browsers that display tips simplify the process by connecting you directly to the relevant option.


Setting your default email client is similar to setting your default web browser. It’s probably a bit less important than the web browser, but I’m used to the conveniences that Outlook offers for creating emails, so it’s annoying that it’s sent to Apple Mail by default. As usual, users of the Gmail or Yahoo Mail applications still do not set them as default. For now, Apple Mail and Outlook are the only known options.
  • Update your mail app in the App Store.
  • Open the Settings app and scroll to your email app.
  • Tap the entry of the app in the list.
  • Find and tap the default Mail App entry.
  • Tap the app you want to use for any email link, and you’d better go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *