My main browser is Firefox, so I want most URLs to open there when I've clicked on them from Thunderbird. But I want to look at Google+ in Chrome, where it's faster; likewise a few other JavaScript-heavy sites.

Is there some way to hijack the Mac's "default browser" launcher so that it will parse the URL and route the request to my favorite browser for that URL? I can think of three ways this might happen:

  • Create a Mac app that acts as the default browser that does nothing but go launch another browser, depending on the URL;
  • Set Firefox as my default browser, and use some extension (like the discontinued Safari View or Open In Safari, or the windows-only Chrome View or IE View) to redirect specific URLs to Chrome;
    • Set Chrome as my default browser, and use some equivalent extension to redirect specific URLs (including a wildcard URL) to Firefox.

Any ideas?


3 Answers 3


Choosy does exactly this (among other things).

Forget the default browser, Choosy opens links in the right browser. When you click on a link Choosy will do the right thing, whether that's something simple (like using whatever browser is already running) or something complex (like prompting you to pick a browser, but only when you hold down the shift key and click on a link to google.com).

  • I wish there was a utility like this for Windows. Aug 30, 2017 at 10:37
  • 1
    there is a open source free alternatives available
    – skywinder
    Nov 18, 2020 at 8:47

There is an open source app for macOS called "Finicky".

  • Please read How do I recommend software for some tips as to how you should go about recommending software. You should provide at least a link, some additional information about the software itself, and how it can be used to solve the problem in the question.
    – DavidPostill
    Mar 31, 2020 at 17:44

If you are looking for something that lets you pick the browser to activate in a graphical interface, check out Browserosaurus by Will Stone, an open source browser prompter for macOS. It works really well together with Finicky (that mentioned in the other answer.


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