Nowadays, having access to the internet is super important to a lot of people. From business, study, research, and recreation, people use the internet for a variety of reasons.
To access the internet – or web as it’s also called – you’ll need a web browser. Where is the browser on the computer? Read on to find out.
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Web browsers are simply application programs that let you access the internet. With these programs, you can send requests to websites and receive data from web servers.
Web browsers have come a long way since the World Wide Web – the first web browser developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. The World Wide Web browser is the reason why most websites start with WWW which is its acronym.
How web browsers work is not as complex as you may think. A web browser can take you anywhere online. It pulls data from other web servers and displays it on your computer. The data is sent through HTTP, a protocol that describes how text, pictures, and video are sent over the internet.
There are different browser types and not all interpret the format the same. This implies a website’s appearance and functionality may vary.
Nevertheless, most websites are designed to ensure cross-browser compatibility so that users may have the same experience regardless of their browser.
A URL, also known as a web address, uniquely identifies a web page. To find data on a server, a browser uses the web address, which directs it to the HTML file, which then directs it to the web page. A web page may feature a hyperlink that allows users to navigate to other web pages.
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Every internet user wants quick access to the web. Not knowing where your web browser is located will simply be an inconvenience. Having to search for your browser every time you need to browse can be time-wasting.
Knowing where your browser is located isn’t all. Your browser needs to be within quick reach for fast access. Most people prefer to have their browsers on their desktop home or pinned to the start bar. That way, you can launch with just one click.
From time to time, you could receive notifications and alerts from websites you visit. Having your browser in a quick-reach location will ensure that you don’t miss any of these.
Some internet users like to keep their browsing private. If you’re such a person, you can’t have your browser in a quick-reach location like your taskbar and desktop home; especially if you have your computer where others can easily access it.
You’ll have to keep your browser in a confidential location. That way, others won’t be able to access your browsing profile that easily. These and more are some of the reasons why where your browser is located
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By default, where your browser is located on your computer depends on your Operating System and the browser you’re using. For example, the location is different for Windows and Mac computers.
On most Windows computers, you’ll find the preinstalled browser icon on your desktop home. It’s also sometimes pinned to the taskbar by default. After installing a new browser, there’s usually an option to add a shortcut to your desktop home or taskbar.
Recent Windows versions like the Windows 11 come with an App List like mobile phones. Hence, you just need to browse the app list alphabetically to locate your web browser. Already, this is the default for Mac computers as they’ve always featured app lists/stacks.
However, the ultimate location of your web browser is in your hard drive – where all your installed programs are stored.
Here’s how you can find your browser on your hard drive in Windows:
- Launch your file explorer
- Select My Computer or This PC (depending on your Windows version)
- Double click on your hard drive (C:) to open
- Open the Program Files
- Scroll and locate the folder for your installed web browser then double click to open
- From the list of files, scroll and find the application file (the extension may differ depending on the browser type but the file type will show Application)
- Double click the application file to launch your browser
If your browser isn’t already on your desktop home or taskbar, you can right-click and select send to desktop or pin to taskbar respectively. On Mac, there’s no Program Files folder, you only have access to the browser application folder as all apps are packages.
Also Read: Is Opera GX Browser Safe? Tips To Use
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Due to the high importance of the web, computers – and even mobile devices – often come with preinstalled browsers. The preinstalled browser on your device will depend on your device type.
For Windows, recent versions come preinstalled with Microsoft Edge. Before now, the default browser for Windows PCs was Internet Explorer but the browser was discontinued in 2021. Microsoft Edge has been around since 2015 when Microsoft released Windows 10.
All Windows versions after Windows 10 come preinstalled with Microsoft Edge and Microsoft has released versions for previous Windows operating systems.
Mac computers – like all Apple iPhones and iPads – come with Safari as the default and preinstalled browser. Safari was introduced in 2003, two years after the advent of macOS. The browser was first featured in Mac OS X Panther.
Interestingly, Google Chrome which is the most used browser by a huge mile isn’t preinstalled on Windows or Mac – the two major desktop OS.
Nevertheless, Chromebook laptops come preinstalled with Google Chrome. Chromebook uses Chrome OS which is Linux-based. However, most Linux browsers come preinstalled with Mozilla Firefox.
Also Read: Best Browsers For Zoom Meetings
Irrespective of the default browser that comes with your computer, you can always change it to any browser you prefer. Before making a new browser your default browser, make sure it is installed and works properly.
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For Windows computers, here’s how to change the default browser:
- Click on the Windows 11 Start menu
- Click on Settings
- Select Apps and click on Default Apps
- Scroll down to the web browser section and click on the current default browser
- Choose a new default app from the list
- Click on the Windows 10 Start menu
- Click on Settings
- Click on System and select Default apps. For the Creators Update version, you’ll click on Apps and then select Default Apps
- Scroll to the web browser section and click on the current default browser
- From the Choose An App window, select the new default browser
- Click on the Windows Start menu.
- Select Control Panel
- Click on Programs and then Default Programs
- Select Set your default programs
- Select the default browser app you want to use
- Click Set this program as default and click on OK
For Mac computers, Here’s how to change the default browser:
- Click on the Apple menu
- Click on System Preferences and select General
- Click on the Default web browser pop-up menu
- Select the new default browser
You can also set a browser as default from the browser’s settings. For most browsers, when you select settings, you’ll find an option that says “Set Browser As Default”. Simply select it and allow permissions.
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For all platforms, here are the most popular web browsers via browser market share in 2022:
1. Google Chrome: 62.78%
2. Apple Safari: 19.3%
3. Mozilla Firefox: 4.2%
4. Microsoft Edge: 4.05%
5. Samsung Internet: 2.77%
6. Opera: 2.26%
However, the share percentages are slightly different for desktop devices only. Here’s the browser market share for desktop computers:
1. Google Chrome: 64.89%
2. Apple Safari: 9.77%
3. Microsoft Edge: 9.6%
4. Mozilla Firefox: 9.46%
5. Opera: 2.88%
6. Internet Explorer: 1.14%
Google Chrome remains the most popular browser for desktop computers and all-around with over 60% of the market share.
The second most popular is Apple Safari as a lot of people use Mac computers. Third is Microsoft Edge, the default browser for Windows.
In conclusion, you can easily find your browser from your desktop home or taskbar. The browser app will also feature in your computer’s app list (for Windows 10, 11, and Mac) or you simply go to your program files.
It’s important to keep your browser in a location that suits your preference. If you need privacy, you can hide it away in a folder while for quick access, your taskbar and desktop home are ideal.
Different devices come with different default browsers which you can always change. If you’re changing your default browser, make sure the new one you’re using is safe.
Top browsers to use on your computer include Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.