Fix: Can’t set Chrome as default browser Windows 10

Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows and slowly made its way to all other operating systems. It has a 54% market amongst all internet platforms and this figure is expected to grow in the future.

No matter how popular software might be, it also experiences some technicalities. One of the major problems users experience is when they are unable to set Google Chrome as their default browser. In many ways, Microsoft Edge is outdated and less user-friendly as compared to Chrome. Setting Google Chrome as the default browser is quite an easy task. Take a look.

Solution 1: Setting the default program from Control Panel

In your control panel, you have a section dedicated to set default programs with respect to each type of file. We can take a look at your control panel and change the setting from there. Making changes from the control panel automatically overrides any application settings; this method will most probably work for you.

  1. Press Windows + R button to bring up the Run Type “control panel” in the dialogue box to launch your PC’s control panel.
  2. Once in the control panel, click on “Programs” present at the bottom left of the list of options.
  3. Here you will see an option of “Default Programs”. Click it.
  4. Once inside the Default Programs window, select “Set Default Programs”.
  5. Now your computer might take a few seconds to populate all of your programs in a single list. Once populated, search for Google Chrome.

  1. Now select the option “Set this program as default”.

All your application settings will be overwritten and Google Chrome will be set as the default programs. If it still doesn’t work, restart your computer before checking again.

Solution 2: Downloading another browser and working around

There is another workaround for this problem. Turns out there is a bug in Windows 10 where if the browser is listed in the default program’s list, there is an error setting Chrome as the default program. In easy words “Find a browser which is not Chrome and not currently proposed by Windows as a default program”.

You can download any other browser. In this guide, we will download Opera, set it as default browser and then set Chrome as the default. We know this is a bit too complicated but we made it easier in the steps below.

  1. Navigate to http://www.opera.com/
  2. Click on the green download box to download Opera on your computer. Opera will now start downloading.
  3. Install Opera and press Continue on the installer to progress with the installation.

  1. Now Opera may download some files to complete its installation. Hang on and don’t cancel the process; it only takes a few minutes to complete.

  1. Open Opera and click on the Opera symbol present at the top left side of the screen. Then click Settings.
  2. Opera will automatically be set as your default browser upon installation. If not, you can set it by clicking the tab of Browser present in the left pane in Settings and hovering down until you find default browser

  1. Press Windows + R button to bring up the Run Type “control panel” in the dialogue box to launch your PC’s control panel.
  2. Once in the control panel, click on “Programs” present at the bottom left of the list of options.
  3. Here you will see an option of “Default Programs”. Click it.
  4. Once inside the Default Programs window, select “Set Default Programs”.
  5. Now your computer might take a few seconds to populate all of your programs in a single list. Once populated, search for Google Chrome.
  6. Now select the option “Set this program as default”.

All your application settings will be overwritten and Google Chrome will be set as the default programs. If it still doesn’t work, restart your computer before checking again.

Solution 3: Making sure Chrome is updated

You should make sure that your Google Chrome is updated. If it isn’t and there is an update pending for installation, you should update it immediately and try again to set it as your default browser.

  1. Open Google Chrome. On the top right, click on the icon of “more” (three dots lined vertically).

  1. If there is an update pending, the icon will be colored differently according to how long the update’s been available
  • Green: An update’s been available for 2 days
  • Orange: An update’s been available for 4 days
  • Red: An update’s been available for 7 days
  1. You can easily update chrome by clicking on “Update Google Chrome”. If you don’t see this button, it means that you are on the latest version already.
  2. After the update, Chrome may prompt for a restart. The browser always saves your opened tabs and reopens them automatically upon the restart.

Solution 4: Making Default from the Browser

In some cases, users are unable to add Chrome as their default browser by any other method and they have to configure it as default from Chrome itself. Therefore, in this step, we will be setting Chrome as default from its settings. For that:

  1. Open Chrome and click on the “Three Dots” in the top right corner.
  2. Click on the “Settings” option and navigate to the “Default Browser” heading.
    Clicking on “Settings”
  3. Click on the “Make Default” option and follow the onscreen instructions to make Chrome the default browser.
  4. Check to see if you are successful in changing the default browser.

Solution 5: Using Registry

In some cases, if you are unable to set Chrome as the default browser by any workaround, you can use the registry editor to configure Chrome as the default browser for your computer. But before we proceed with this, make sure to create a backup of your registry and then proceed to implement this solution.

  1. Download this registry file on your computer.
  2. Extract the file using a file extractor such as WinRAR.
  3. Run the “set-Chrome-8.reg” file and Chrome will be made the default browser.
    Running the file
  4. Check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 6: Resetting Settings

In some cases, resetting the settings to Microsoft’s recommended defaults can fix this issue. Therefore, in this step, we will be resettings our settings back to the defaults. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “I” to open the settings.
  2. Click on the “Apps” option and select “Default Apps” from the left pane.
    Apps section in Settings
  3. Click on the “Reset” button under the “Reset to the Microsofts Recommended Defaults” heading.
    Clicking on the “Reset” button
  4. Confirm the prompt and then change the browser to Google Chrome.
  5. Check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 7: Using Command Prompt

You can also use the command prompt to change certain settings. Therefore, in this step, we will execute a  command in the command prompt which should help us in getting around this situation. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press “Enter”.
    Running the Command Prompt
  3. Type in the following command and press “Enter” to execute it.
    explorer.exe shell:::{17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966} -Microsoft.DefaultPrograms\pageDefaultProgram
  4. Check to see if the issue persists.

Note: If you are still getting this particular issue and can’t work around it, it is advised to create a new account on your computer and try to set the browser as default on that. This has been known to fix this issue for some users.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Can’t set Chrome as default browser Windows 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested