I am constantly switching preferred browsers for my day-to-day browsing. But, when I am writing web applications I actually prefer my browser to be Internet Explorer for one simple reason: it saves time.

Visual Studio knows when you close down the IE window that is running your current application and is nice enough to stop the debugger for you. This saves time and effort when developing software because you don't have to manually click stop every time you are finished debugging. And, when you are writing code, reducing the time between debug iterations can be a huge boost to your productivity.

This presents a problem for most of us, since we typically use default browsers other than IE. However, Visual Studio is nice enough to allow us to set a default browser for opening files from within Visual Studio (including debugging.)

Follow these steps if you want to change your default browser in Visual Studio:

  1. Right-click any ASP Page or Windows Form in the Solution Explorer.
  2. Select Browse With...
  3. Highlight your preferred browser in the box on the left.
  4. Click the Set as Default button. You can also set the default size here if you wish.
  5. Click Browse
  6. Done!

Now, you can have different default browsers for development and web surfing.

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