On macOS Sierra, I am encountering a strange behaviour of WEBLOC files. In the Open with: section of the Info window, the drop down list for choosing the default application is greyed out. It is set to Safari even though I have chosen a different default web browser in the System Preferences. I would like to change it to the browser of my choice, but it appears I am stuck with Safari.

App drop down greyed out in Info window

When I select more than one WEBLOC file at once, the drop down list stops being greyed out. But when I try selecting a different browser, I get the following error message:

You can’t change the item “Ask Different.webloc” to always open in the selected application.

The item is either locked or damaged, or in a folder you don’t have permission to modify (error code -10823).

Error message while trying to choose a different default application for WEBLOC files

Needless to say that this particular WEBLOC file is neither locked nor damaged and that I have all the required permissions for the containing folder and the file.

How can I change the default application for WEBLOC files so they open with the browser of my choice?


I have found a solution:

  1. Make sure that the Finder is set to show all filename extensions (Finder Preferences → Advanced).
  2. Edit the file name by deleting the “.webloc” filename extension.
  3. Show Info: Lo and behold – the application drop down list is no longer greyed out. Application list no longer greyed out after deleting ".webloc" filename extension
  4. Select the browser of your choice and press the Change All… button.
  5. The default application for opening any WEBLOC file has been changed, whether or not it has the explicit “.webloc” filename extension.
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  • this seems to change the default application listed in "Get Info..." but doesn't actually change the application that opens when you click on the file... – honi Dec 22 '16 at 20:20
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    This worked for me. The icon is still showing Safari, but when I double click it opens it in Firefox. Hopefully it'll stay this way. – The Oddler Jan 5 '17 at 13:23
  • Worked for me, too. Had a warning about changing the app for “ilht” files, ignored it. – Philippe-André Lorin May 16 '18 at 20:32
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    Just removing the extension didn't work for me. I had to change the extension to .txt, then I could edit the setting in GetInfo, then I removed the txt extension. The icon still shows as a text file, but it opens as expected in Chrome. – B B Mar 4 '19 at 14:37
  • Same here, had to change the extension to something else. A nice touch is to change the default icon. You can do that by opening any image you like on Image Preview; cmd + A to select it; cmd + C to copy it; Get Info on the web lock; select the icon on top left corner; cmd + V to paste your icon. – Ideasforce Jan 3 at 4:15

Old question, still an issue to this day in OSX Mojave 10.14.5

I have found the best solution possible, although it is a couple steps just to do it.

Still useful for shortcut files you use frequently on your desktop / folders

  1. Open AppleScript Editor (Script Editor)
  2. Copy / Paste the following into the editor:

    tell application "Google Chrome"
    open location "https://www.url.com/"
    end tell
  3. Then File > Export...

  4. File Format: Application

  5. Choose a location and hit save. This will create a location.app which, when opened, will go into your Chrome browser instead of Safari! This will also work if you replace "Google Chrome" with "Firefox"

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