Thursday, March 12, 2009

Making Google Chrome the default browser in Windows Vista

I have been using Google Chrome since it was first publicly released. I really like it a lot. It's clean and fast. The tabs are quite a bit more useful than Apple Safari's tabs (in my opinion.) Everything just kind of works. Mostly. It is beta after all. :-P

But I tried awhile back to make Chrome my default browser without success. Whenever I would try to click the "Make Google Chrome my default browser" button in the options dialog I would get the following message: This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel.

So I googled the error message and here is what I found: In order to make this button work on Windows Vista, you need to run Chrome as administrator. This is a side effect of User Account Control (UAC). Google Chrome should support UAC better, but it is beta, so what can you expect?

Here are the steps I used to fix the problem:

  1. Close all instances of Google Chrome. I first tried the following steps with a non-administrator Chrome still open. But that didn't work.
  2. Right click on the icon you use to open Chrome. I have mine in the "Quick Launch" toolbar, but yours might be in the Start Menu or on the Desktop.
  3. Select the "Run as Administrator" option. The UAC confirmation dialog will come up stating that A program needs your permission to continue. Press Continue.
  4. Go to the Options menu item under the wrench icon (upper right of Chrome).
  5. On the bottom of the Basics tab will be the Make Google Chrome my default browser button. Click it. Everything should now work. Theoretically.

Thanks to this Google Chrome Help forum post with the correct answer by englitmajor. That is what clued me in to the proper solution.

I hope this helps.

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