How to change your default email program and web browser in iOS 14

You can finally change certain default apps with the latest versions of iOS and iPadOS.

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In the past, Apple set your default email app to the built-in Mail and your default browser to Safari, and there was no way you could change that…until now. With the introduction of iOS 14 (and iPadOS 14), you can now alter these defaults on your iPhone or iPad. With your email program, you can change the default to Outlook or Gmail. And for your web browser, you can change the default to Edge, Chrome, or Firefox, or another supported app. Let’s cover the steps.

SEE: Top 10 iPad tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

First, make sure you’ve updated your device to iOS/iPadOS 14. Go to Settings and then General. Tap the setting for Software Update. Your device will either tell you that your software is up to date or prompt you to download and install the latest update (Figure A).

Figure A

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Now, let’s try changing your default mail client. For this to work, the developer needs to update the app to follow certain Apple requirements for iOS/iPadOS 14. Outlook and Gmail currently support this option, but more apps are likely to follow. Let’s say you want to change the default to Outlook. Go to Settings and swipe down the screen to the list of all apps until you see the entry for Outlook. Tap that entry. At the Outlook screen, tap the option for Default Mail App. Notice that you can choose Mail, Outlook, or Gmail. Tap the option for Outlook (Figure B).

Figure B

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Now open an app that contains email links, such as Contacts. Tap someone’s email address, and Outlook should now open for you to compose and send a message (Figure C).

Figure C

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The only glitch here is that if Safari is your default browser, and you click on an email link, the link will still launch Apple’s Mail app instead of your new default mail app. For now, the only way around this is to change your default browser as well, which brings us to our next step.

SEE: macOS Big Sur: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

To change your default browser, Go to settings and swipe down the screen to the entry for the browser you wish to use, for example, Chrome. Tap the entry and you’ll see all the potential browsers listed. Tap the option for Chrome (Figure D).

Figure D

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Now open an app that includes a URL to a webpage. Click the link, and the page should now open in Chrome (Figure E).

Figure E

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Initially, if you restarted your iPhone or iPad, the default for your browser would reset back to Safari. But Apple seems to have fixed that glitch with iOS/iPadOS 14.0.1. Even after restarting my phone, Chrome remained the default.

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