Solve when MacOS X 10.11 loses the ability to set a default browser

If your MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan) loses the ability to set a default browser, you can clear up the bug by rebuilding the Apple Launch Services.

Symptoms:

1. You use two browsers (Firefox and Chrome)… the wrong browser starts launching as the (unintended) default after you opened it once for some task — despite the intended default browser launching fine up to that point, the unwanted browser takes over as a URL handler in other programs.

2. When you try to reset the default browser in System Preferences > General, there are no browsers showing in the picker!

Solution:

Run this terminal command:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user ; killall Dock

Immediately restart!

Then you’ll see your choices again:


Inspired by this specific answer on StackExchange Mac OS X 10.11 browser default.

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