Default Browser workflow for Alfred

DefaultBrowser Alfred Workflow IconI am happy to release version 1.1 of the Default Browser workflow for Alfred.

This is a workflow that I have been putting together for some time and today I have released a major update to include more browsers, improved speed and a general overhaul of awesomeness.

If you have ever wanted to be able to quickly switch browsers on OSX, this might just be up your alley. My biggest desire was to be able to switch between Chrome (just an awesome browser) and Safari (for when I need to be power conscious while running on battery). This Alfred workflow fits that bill perfectly.

Where you can get it

  1. Download the .alfredworkflow file from github directly
  2. Check out the official post on the Alfred Community forums
  3. Have a browse of the workflow on Packal – the global repository for Alfred workflows


This workflow represents many hours effort of development, testing and rework. The images that have been licensed for this workflow from DepositPhotos also needed a bit of my moolah. So if you love the workflow, and get use out of it every day, if you would like to donate as a thank you to buy me more caffeine giving Diet Coke, some Cake, or to put towards a shiny new gadget you can donate to me via Paypal.

Paypal donate button




Browsers currently supported:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Chromium – New in V1.1
  • Canary – New in V1.1
  • SeaMonkey – New in V1.1

Change Log

  • Version 1.1 – Feature Release
    • Feature: Support additional browsers – added Chromium, Canary and SeaMonkey
    • Feature: Only show installed browsers
    • Feature: Indicate which browser is the current default
    • Feature: Added hotkey assignments (to launch workflow, launch with “chrome”, and launch with “safari”)
    • Improvement: Renamed description in Alfred to simply “Default Browser”
    • Improvement: Improved failure feedback
    • Improvement: Major code refactor to remove duplication and speed up the workflow
    • Improvement: Added an icon to the workflow
    • Improvement: defaultbrowser binary has been updated to better support integrating. This code has been put into a pull request for the official publication of defaultbrowser.


defaultbrowser binary for OSX has been created by Margus Kerma.

  • Margus has been kind enough to permit me to include the binary for defaultbrowser as part of this workflow to make distribution significantly easier.
  • For any issues with the defaultbrowser binary please log these to the official DefaultBrowser Issue Tracker.

DefaultBrowser Alfred workflow created by Stuart Ryan. If you would like to get into contact you can do so via:


With the exception of the workflow logo, this Alfred Workflow is provided free of charge under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2 June 1991.

The workflow logo is licensed only for use in this workflow and must be changed if the workflow is forked in the future.

The workflow logo has been licensed from DepositPhotos to Stuart Ryan.
DefaultBrowser Example Screenshot 1 - List Installed Browsers

DefaultBrowser Example Screenshot 2 -  Set Safari as Default

DefaultBrowser Example Screenshot 3

DefaultBrowser Example Screenshot 4 -  No such browser installed error

How to run two versions of Firefox on Mac OSX concurrently

Running two versions of a browser on one machine is something that should be easy… but not always. Recently I needed to assist with deploying a fix to a slightly larger userbase than normal and provide the ability for Mac OSX users to concurrently run two versions of Firefox.

Therefore after researching this in my own time this weekend I have thrown together these simple launchers to make the process far more easy for everyone. If you follow the steps below you should be up and running in no time. Before we begin though PLEASE back up your existing Firefox Profile.

Firstly download the two versions of Firefox you want, for the latest build see the Latest Downloads page, or for the previous build see the Older Downloads page. Following that get your hands on the launchers I have created: Firefox Workaround Zip File.

The Easy Way:

Assumptions: You already have one version of Firefox installed on your machine and that you would like to run Firefox 3 and Firefox 4.

  1. If you have the older version of Firefox installed on your machine open the applications folder, click the existing Firefox Application and rename it to “Firefox 3”. Then install the new version of Firefox in the applications folder.
  2. If you have the newer version installed and want to install the older version along side, rather than dragging and dropping the old version to your applications folder to install. Drag it to your desktop first, rename it to Firefox 3 and then move it to the applications folder after it is renamed.
  3. Open Terminal and run “/Applications/Firefox\ -profilemanager -no-remote” this will load the Firefox 3 Profile Manager.
  4. You will have one profile already showing. If you wish to keep this for the latest version rename it to “Firefox-4” then create a new profile along side this called “Firefox-3” the names and case are important as the scripts use these to auto run the different versions. It should now look like this:
  5. Extract the Firefox Workaround Zip File to a location of your choosing. The two launchers can then be dragged onto your dock to use them for Launching the two versions of Firefox concurrently.

The Hard Way: so the assumptions above don’t apply?

OK so I am a realist, the above will only work for the aforementioned versions of Firefox and we would like to give you the ability to make some changes, or you want to name the folders differently (or whatever issues you may have).

  1. After you have downloaded the Firefox Workaround Zip File extract it to the Desktop
  2. Run Applications –> Automator
  3. Choose to open an existing workflow
  4. Open the Firefox 3 file extracted from the above zip
  5. In the script there are two things you can edit the ‘-a “Firefox 3″‘ defines the application name so if you wish to change the application name you can do so there, the ‘-P “Firefox-3″‘ defines the profile to use.
  6. As an example if you wish to call the application Firefox Old with a profile name of Original Firefox you would write:
  7. Save the scripts and they can now be used.

Because I am nice – A generic version of the loaders:

I figured that it might be nice to have a version of the loaders that will load any version of Firefox, one old and one new. Therefore if you download the Firefox Workaround Generic you can use the following settings:

New Firefox:
Application Name: Firefox
Profile Name: Firefox Default

Old Firefox:
Application Name: Firefox Old
Profile Name: Firefox Old

This should allow you to not have to continuously overwrite the loaders if you wish to have this available as a permanent solution. Then when a new major version is released, before you upgrade just replace the application names.

Let me know if you have any feedback or ways of improving this.