Fixing a Blank Default Web Browser Setting in OS X El Capitan


I don’t know what causes this problem but recently I discovered that the “Default web browser” setting in the General preferences tab was blank. Clicking on the drop-down showed no browser names so I could not change the use of Safari as the default browser.

The fix was relatively simple. I opened Chrome and via settings within Chrome I set it to be the default web browser. After completing this action I then had the names of the installed browsers in the “Default web browser” drop-down.

This fix may work using any browser that allows you to set it as the default from within the browser settings itself.

5 thoughts on “Fixing a Blank Default Web Browser Setting in OS X El Capitan

  1. U Da Man!! The symptoms I had was the app menu under Default Browser pref was blank, and when I click down on it to pop up the menu, it gives me a single blank checked item. After running another browser and setting it as default, the preferences now has a complete list of all the browsers, and I can change it back to Safari. Thanks!!

  2. In case any other Mac user stumbles in here scratching their head.
    I am guessing it happens with a major upgrade or something like that, in my case Chrome and Chrome Canary stopped working completely so I need to uninstall and delete some files.

    What that did was not unset Chrome Canary as my default browser, so it was showing blank.

    Anyway, long story short I had to open FireFox and set that as my default browser first, then go into System preferences and set it to Chrome.

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