Ditch Apple’s Mail and Safari apps on your new iPhone or iPad with this feature


We’ll show you how to set default apps on your iPhone or iPad.

scar Gutiérrez / CNET

A new iPhone can be a great holiday gift. You can pack it full of fun apps, use it for amazing photographs, and just enjoy using it day in and day out. But, for a long time, you were also stuck with Apple’s default email and web browsing apps, regardless of your preferred defaults.


Fortunately, Apple has loosened its grip on the iPhone and iPad by adding the option of put widgets on iPhone home screen, to create custom app icons and, although somewhat limited, change the default apps for email and web browsing. (Here are some of our other favorite features of iOS 15.)

That means you can use Gmail or Google Chrome – or whatever app you like – on your new iPhone and finally leave Safari and Apple Mail behind. This is a big win for iPhone and iPad users.

Read more: The best cases for iPhone 13

The process of changing your default email and browser app is very simple, but also somewhat hidden. Apple doesn’t make things as easy as Android, where there is a dedicated section for setting default apps in settings. You need to know where to look, and below we’ll show you where it is.


That’s right, you can set some apps as default in iOS 15.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Set your default email or browser

In order to use another app as an email or web browser replacement, the developer will need to update the app with support for the new feature. Be sure to check the App Store for all updates before trying to change your default app. Here is what you need to do.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down until you find the app you want to use. For example, search for Google Chrome if you want it to be your primary browser. Or Outlook if you want to use it as an email app and tap on it. Select the appropriate option, either Default browser application Where Default messaging app. Choose from the list of available apps on the next screen, then exit settings.

With a new set of default apps, every time you click a link, your favorite browser opens. Or every time you tap an email address, your email app launches. It’s time for Apple to add this feature.

Default apps aren’t the only cool feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 – we found a bunch. We also found specific tips, like how to get free iCloud storage.

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