How to reset default settings in an Internet browser

Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope
Internet browsers

Restoring a browser's default settings is often useful when you need to troubleshoot issues or want to refresh your browser without reinstalling. Restoring default settings can improve browser performance.

To reset an Internet browser back to its default settings, select your browser in the list below and follow the instructions.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click the Chrome settings icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Settings.

Chrome menu Settings selector.

  1. On the left side of the screen, click Advanced to expand the menu, then click Reset and clean up.

Reset and clean up selector in Chrome.

  1. In the Reset and clean up section, click the Restore settings to their original defaults option.

Restore browser defaults in Chrome.

  1. Click the Reset settings button in the pop-up window to confirm your choice.

Reset settings in Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the browser window, click the Open menu Firefox menu icon. icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Help.

Help selector in Firefox.

  1. Select Troubleshooting Information from the expanded menu.

Troubleshooting selector in Firefox.

  1. Near the top-right of the page, under Give Firefox a tune up, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Refresh firefox button.

  1. Click the Refresh Firefox button in the prompt window to confirm your choice.

Refresh Firefox confirmation.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Click the Settings and more icon Microsoft Edge More menu in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Settings.

Settings selector in Edge.

  1. Under the Settings section on the left, click Reset settings.

Reset settings selector in Edge.

  1. Under the Reset settings section, click Restore settings to their default values.

Reset settings in Edge.

  1. When prompted, click the Reset button to confirm your choice.

Confirming Edge reset.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge Legacy

  1. Right-click Start and select Apps and Features from the menu.
  2. In the Apps & features list, scroll down to find and select Microsoft Edge.
  3. Click the Advanced options link under Microsoft Edge.
  4. On the Microsoft Edge settings page, scroll down to the Reset section and click the Reset button.
  5. Click the Reset button in the small pop-up window to confirm your choice.
Microsoft Internet Explorer

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the Tools icon in Internet Explorer. icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Internet options.

Selector to choose Internet options in MSIE.

  1. In the Internet Options window, click the Advanced tab.
  2. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click the Reset button.
  3. In the pop-up window, click the Reset button to confirm your choice.
Opera

Opera

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. Click the Opera menu button button in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Settings.

Settings selector

  1. In the Settings window, click the Opera Advanced button button.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the expanded Settings window and, under the Reset settings section, click the Restore settings to their original defaults option.

Restore default settings in Opera.

  1. Click the Reset button in the pop-up window to confirm your choice.

Opera reset browser confirmation.

or

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type opera:about and press Enter.
  3. On the About Opera page, find the Paths section and make a note of the folder path for Profile and Cache.
  4. Close the Opera browser.
  5. Open the Windows Explorer program and navigate to the folder path you noted in step 3 above. Go up one folder, then delete the folder designated in the Profile and Cache folder path.

    For example, in the image below, the folder path is C:\Users\Tim\AppData\Roaming\Opera Software\Opera Stable. You would navigate to the Opera Stable folder, go up one folder to the Opera Software folder, and delete the Opera Stable folder.

Opera about paths

Delete Opera profile

Safari

Safari

Resetting Safari

Unfortunately, the "Reset Safari" option was removed from macOS. In order to restore the default settings, you need to clear the history, clear the browser cache, and remove any extensions.

Remove all customized Safari settings

  1. Click the hard drive icon on the macOS desktop to view the hard drive contents.
  2. Browse to the following folder: Users > [Users Home] > Library > Safari.
  3. In the Safari folder, drag-and-drop all files, except the Bookmarks.plist file, to the Trash.
  4. Browse to the following folder: Users > [Users Home] > Library > Preferences.
  5. In the Preferences folder, drag-and-drop the following entries to the Trash:
    • com.apple.Safari.plist
    • com.apple.internetconfig.plist
    • com.apple.internetconfigpriv.plist
Note

If you do not see the com.apple.internetconfigpriv.plist entry in the Preferences folder, ignore it and Trash the other two entries listed.