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”
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!!
Thanks – worked for me.
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.
Looks like Apple are trying to make people use Safari.. again!