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Is there an option to change my default browser for all my applications?

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up vote 67 down vote accepted

Have a look at your system-settings -> Details:

(Note that in older versions of Ubuntu Details is called System Info)

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Thanks! The simple stuff is so elusive at times! – Ederico Nov 14 '11 at 22:54
If that is the very good mark in your answer, done. – Ederico Nov 15 '11 at 11:08
Wow, that's a pretty stupid place to put it! Almost as bad as having to go to "settings" to turn off your computer in Windows 8. – Mike Dec 8 '13 at 0:25
in ubuntu 14.04 [cinnamon theme] navigate to System Settings > Preferred applications – diEcho Jul 25 '14 at 11:31
To launch this on Ubuntu 14.04 from the CLI try unity-control-center… – Winny Aug 10 '15 at 4:34

This is an ubuntu way of doing this

sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser
sudo update-alternatives --config gnome-www-browser
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This is a system-wide change, and should be done in addition to fossfreedom's answer. – Flimm Dec 11 '13 at 11:56
I tried all the answers here; only the second of these two lines changed the browser in which browser-external links (e.g. from Pidgin) opened. – Stew Jun 25 '14 at 15:57

If your preferred browser isn't in that menu or you prefer doing it from the command line, this command will let you do the same thing as in fossfreedom's answer:

xdg-settings set default-web-browser name-of-browser.desktop


xdg-settings set default-web-browser firefox.desktop


xdg-settings set default-web-browser chromium-browser.desktop


xdg-settings set default-web-browser google-chrome.desktop
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Apart from some of the comments above, I would suggest following the top answer here. It involves changing the mimeapps/url schemes of your current user.

I had to use that solution to make linux Skype behave normally. Most other applications would use x-www-browser or gnome-www-browser but I guess they do have a point of using the URL Schemes; sometimes it has more sense.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – Jan Sep 30 '14 at 8:04
I thought this still answered the question for Skype for which as far as I know, the changes in the top answer don't influence how skype chooses the default application in all conditions. The answer is here to help users in case the first one does not. If this can be done by responding with comments to the first answer I will do just that. :) Thank you for the heads up! – Adrian Castravete Sep 30 '14 at 8:39
Got your point, Adrian – just sitting in the same boat. Still, that didn't solve it for me. What solved it, was this answer. But that might be due to the fact I'm using LXDE as desktop. – Izzy Mar 7 '15 at 23:16

You can also change your default browser in the relevant browser settings - e.g.

Preferences, tick 'Always check if Firefox is your default browser'

Settings, click 'Make chrome default browser'

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This is not working for me on 15.04 – user11153 Aug 31 '15 at 11:11

System -> Control Center -> Preferred Applications
for ubuntu with MATE DESKTOP

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