How to set default mail and browser apps on iPhone and iPad

Spark on iPhone 11 Pro
Spark on iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Despite being historically controlling over the user experience on its platforms, Apple unlocked the ability for users to change their default apps on iPhone and iPad in recent years, with mail and web browsing being the first two categories allowing this type of customization.

As of iOS 15, this capability is only available to those two categories. However, since these are some of the most-used apps, it's nice to be able to adapt your experience to your needs and preferences.

If you've tried out a few mail and browser apps and have found the one you'd like to use all of the time, here's how to switch out your default mail and browser apps on iOS and iPadOS.

How to change the default mail app on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap the app you wish to make the default.

To change the default mail app on iPhone and iPad, tap the Settings app, then choose the third-party app from the list. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Default Mail App.
  2. Tap the app you wish to make the default.

To change the default mail app on iPhone and iPad, tap the Settings app, select the Default Browser App then choose the app from the list (Image credit: iMore)

How to change the default browser app on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap the app you wish to make the default.

To change the default browser app on iPhone and iPad, tap the Settings app, then choose the third-party app from the list. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Default Browser App.
  2. Tap the app you wish to make the default.

To change the default browser app on iPhone and iPad, tap the Settings app, select the Default Browser App then choose the app from the list. (Image credit: iMore )

Switch your default apps to suit your needs

The best iPhone experience for one person may differ from the next, so it's positive that Apple lets you customize your experience based on your needs. For example, if you've found a mail app that you prefer to the built-in one or a browser that works better for you than Safari, it's easy to change your default via the Settings app.

While we wait for the ability to change other app categories in future iterations of iOS and iPadOS, mail and browser apps are a good start.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.