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How to Set Default Apps on an iPhone

While there are limited options in terms of which default apps you can change on the iPhone, there are a few keys you might want to change.


Every iPhone, including the best iPhones, comes loaded with tons of apps, like the Safari browser, Mail, Apple Music, Freeform, FaceTime, and more. But sometimes, you want to override Apple’s defaults in favor of your own favorites.


Default apps start automatically when you try to do things like open a link from a web page or email, click an email address to send a message, or an address to get turn-by-turn directions. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to change the default apps for things like maps on an iPhone (although there are tricks and workarounds if you’re feeling adventurous). But it’s actually quite simple to change the default apps for web browsing and mail with any device running iOS 14 and later, including new phones like the iPhone 14 and older iPhones that support that operating system (and higher). . Doing so will eliminate the annoying copy-paste process you might have been doing instead, in case you prefer a browser like Chrome over Safari and a mail app like Gmail over Mail.

Here is how to do it.

1. To update the default web browser, go to settings and scroll down to the app you want to set as default. (If you haven’t downloaded your preferred app yet, please do so from the App Store.)

2. Select the application in the main Settings menu (for example, Chrome) that you want to use as the new default browser.

3. Select Default browser app (should say Safari) and change it to Chrome (the blue checkmark will appear next to it to confirm the change).

4. To update the default mail app, go to settings and scroll down to the app you want to make your primary mail app, like Gmail.

5. Scroll down to Default mail app and change it to Gmail by tapping on it (the blue checkmark will now appear next to Gmail).

It’s also worth noting that if you have multiple email accounts loaded into Mail and simply want to change the default mail app that message replies are sent from when you reply from your phone, you can do that too. You might want to do this if you have both a work and personal email address loaded in Mail and want to make sure all replies come from your work address.

Select the Mail app in Settings and scroll down to Compose. Under Default account, change it to the one you want. Once this is set up, no matter which accounts an email was sent to, every time you hit “reply” your reply will come from the default account. You can manually change the sending account before hitting “send” if necessary.

Keep in mind that not all browser and mail apps can be set as default on an iPhone. If the app developer hasn’t updated the app with the feature, it won’t work. But you can configure the most popular ones for web browsing, like Chrome and Firefox, and the most popular ones for mail, like Gmail and Outlook. It’s a small change, but it could make a big difference in productivity and comfort.

An image showing the front and back of an Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max in Space Black.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s biggest and best smartphone, and in typical Apple fashion, it’s both a powerhouse and an endurance beast.

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