How to Download and Install a New Web Browser

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It's easy to have the latest and best browser, even if you're on an old version of Windows! And yes, you can have (and use) more than one browser on your computer or tablet! Here are the instructions for all platforms -- except the Chromebook, where you're already on the best browser! And, with the exception of a few special-purpose browsers on tablets (that we've not covering here), they're all free.

If You are on Tablet (iPad or Android) or a Smartphone

If you want to download an use an alternate browser, look in the App Store on your device, and search for "browser." Most people on mobile devices use the browser that is already installed, and the device is set up to use that one. But you can find additional browsers in the App Stores (such as iTunes Store or Google Play).

Where to Download for Windows, Mac or Linux Computers

These are the official download sites for the browsers. It's important that you download from one of these, the maker's own site, and not from other sites offering downloads. Some of those other sites include extras that you do not expect and do not want.

These are fairly large programs, and we don't recommend downloading them over dial-up. The initial download for most browsers is an installer, which is fairly small and squick to download. The installer then downloads the rest of the package and installs it.

Download Google Chrome

Download Firefox

Download Opera

I am not including Safari in this set of links. Safari is already on every Mac and is kept up to date automatically, and the Windows version of Safari is no longer supported.

Windows Users

After you click the download button, you will get a pop-up asking if you want to download the program, and whether you want to Run or Save it.

If you can, choose Run. You are downloading the installer, not the browser itself, and when it runs, it will download and set everything up for you. If you then get a pop-up asking if it is OK to let the installer make changes to your system, tell it Yes.

If you can't choose Run, then select Save and, if you have a choice of where to save it, save it to your desktop where it will be easy to find. If you can't find where you saved it after the download is complete, click on your Internet Explorer browser, then press the Ctrl and J keys at the same time on your keyboard (Ctrl J). That will open a window to show your dowloads. Then click on the downloaded installer (which will be at the top of your downloads list) to run it.

Mac Users

Make sure you're downloading a Mac version of the program. The program will be placed into the Downloads folder on your dock (tha bar along the bottom of your Mac). Once it's finished downloading, drag the file that you downloaded onto your dock, or into your Applications folder.

Before the program launches, you'll get a warning box asking if you really want to run it, and warning you that some files downloaded from the Internet can be malicious. As long as you got it from the official site, say "Yes." In your Applications folder, you'll see also a warning icon until you've told it that the file is OK, and yes, you really want to run it.

Chromebook Users

You've already got Chrome -- what more could you want? Seriously -- Chrome is the browser in the Chromebook and the whole platform works on it.  You can't download a different browser for it.

How to Run Your New Browser

Double-click on the icon on your Windows desktop, or select it from the Windows Start menu or the Mac dock or Applications folder. It will operate pretty much like the browser you've been using, so you shouldn't have much difficulty. A few things may take a little getting used to, but don't worry, you will.

Congratulations -- you now have a new browser! You still have your old one, too, just in case you ever want to use it. If you were on Windows XP with Internet Explorer, check out Games4TV in your new browser to see how much better the world has become!

How to Make Your New Browser the "Default"

If you're on a tablet and you have a secondary browser (that didn't come with it) installed, it will often ask you which browser you want to use when you click a link in email.

But on a computer, you can make a browser the "default" -- that is, the one that will open automatically for email links and shortcuts if you don't specifically choose a different one.

Make Your New Browser the Default for Windows

When you start up your new browser for the first time, it will probably ask you if you would like to make it the default. If you say yes, then it will take care of it for you, and any shortcuts on your desktop or links in email will open in it automatically.

But if you're not yet sure, you can say no. And if you'd later like to set it as default (or say yes and then change your mind), it's an easy fix.

From your Start menu, select Control Panel (it's right under the menu for your Computer). If you're using Windows 7, select Default programs, then highlight your new browser in the list and click the link that says "Set this program as default."

If you have an older computer with Windows XP, open the Control Panel and select Add or Remove Hardware. When the list comes up, select Program Access and Defaults from the Right sidebar, and then select the Microsoft Windows configuration. That will allow you to check which web browser (and email client, and media player) you'd like to be the default.

The Chrome browser has a checkbox in its settings on Windows to make it the default browser. If you're on Windows and want to make Chrome your default (recommended), try the checkbox in the settings first -- you may not need the Control Panel method at all.

Make Your New Browser the Default for Your Mac

There are several ways to make the browser the default on the Mac, but the easiest way is to go into Safari's preferences and set a new browser to be the default. The path is Safari > Preferences > General > Default web browser and you can set it to be Chrome or Firefox instead.

Questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments. If you're a Games4TV member with Talk4TV, you should see the comment form below. If you don't, just click the link at the bottom to log in. If you haven't yet activated your Talk4TV, it's free for all active Games4TV members, and it just takes a moment.

Dudette

2 Comments

New Safari Browser on Yosemite (Mac)

Dudette, I've been on Snow Leopard, 10.6.8 for a long time. I really liked it but felt I had better move on or get left behind.
After a lot of trying I finally got Yosemite downloaded a couple of days ago and I really dislike it..mostly the changes in Safari..I think. I really dislike the way they do bookmarks..I also really dislike that for some reason I cannot fathom, for the <(back) or(forward) > in the toolbar, if you are on a webpage and go on to a second page in an article, the < icon is not active so I have to look in history and find the original page if I want to continue on that website!

There are many other things I do not like also, (like the UGLY ROCK as a desktop picture), and in the Apple area, there is no Updates section to check..etc, etc.

What I really wanted to ask you is are you at all familiar with Yosemite and if you are, how do you like it? Do you think I should try Chrome or leave well enough alone? I don't think I did a very good job of downloading Yosemite from the App Store as I never restarted the computer when the download was complete as there was no prompt to do so so some of my problems may be of my own making.

cayuga

Chrome on the Mac

Hi Cayuga,

I have an older MacBook that is maxed out with Snow Leopard, but Dexter has Yosemite, I think. I'll ask him to comment. I'm sure he can tell you how to change your background picture.

Personally, I don't care for Safari, and I use Firefox and Chrome on my MacBook. I'm a long-time Firefox user and it's my primary development environment, but I actually prefer Chrome as a browser.

By the way, if it didn't tell you to reboot your machine, you can do it now. It never hurts.