Make Chrome Canary the Default Browser on Windows/Mac

has several versions of their browser which includes the stable version, beta version and development version. However, users can only run one instance of them at any given time. Google does provide another cutting-edge version called the Canary build. The Canary build is a nightly build and contains untested code and features which will be introduced in other version of Chrome at a later stage.

Chrome Canary Default Browser

I prefer to use Google Canary builds because they usually contain cutting edge technologies and newer features which are not yet available in other versions and gives me a chance to test them out. However, the one thing I have had a problem with the Canary version is that Google does not allow you to set it as the default browser.

The explanation they give for it is that it is a secondary installation of Chrome and cannot be set as the default browser. Well, that is a problem for me because some times the dev version (which I also used) was buggier than the Canary version and was not updated as frequently to address the reported bugs.

So I decided to find a way to set the Google Chrome Canary version as default and found a neat registry hack at this forum. All you have to do is download a simple registry file listed in the forum post and edit it to replace your username in the Registry.reg file. Once you have done that just double click and click on the “Yes” button when prompted to add the entries to your registry.

After you have inserted the registry entry, Chrome Canary will be set as your default browser. If you are looking to reverse that, just head to control panel and change the default application or use your browsers’ preference to set it back as the default browser. The forum in question requires you to register before you download the file as an alternative, you can download the file directly from here.

For Mac users all you need to do is run Safari and then head to preferences and change the “Default web browser” to Canary from the dropdown menu. You can visit this site to find visual instructions for doing that.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Uffe
    • Whoops sorry about that. The linked should be fixed now.

  • Dave

    Thanks! Worked great on Mac w/ Mountain Lion.

  • jl001

    This isn’t working on Windows 8 for me. It turned off IE as default, but now I get a window that says: “How do you want to open this type of link (http)?” With the options: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and “Look for an app in the store.”

    Also, under Windows 8’s “default programs” settings, Chrome Canary is not listed as an application so I can’t change from there. Any other suggestions?

  • brokenwheelchair

    Another option is to simply use Chromium as yr default browser.

  • Thank you!

  • asus3000

    Worked great on Win-7 thanks.

  • Bermudagirl1301

    Excuse my ignorance – but how do I edit the file to replace it with my username?

  • Simon

    For mac users like me who ended up here trying to figure this out: the “Default web browser” dropdown is no longer in Safari, it’s now under System Preferences -> General