Two years back, Google has introduced  the  Chrome Canary build, which is more of a nightly build that gets updates daily. This release can be used along with any other installed Chrome channel like dev./beta/stable. Chrome Canary will be installed in a separate directory and uses a separate profile from other Chrome version you’re running.

Google doesn’t allow us to set Chrome Canary as default browser, it is highly unstable than dev. and can break often. But all the new features will be first tested on the Canary and then released on Dev. channel, once successful. If you’re an early adopter and use it on a daily basis and want to set Chrome canary as default browser, here is how you can do that.

chrome canary settings page thumb How to Set Google Chrome Canary As Default Browser in Windows

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Making Chrome Canary as your default browser

1. All you need to do is download a simple registry file “CanaryAsDefault”  from here in zip format and extract its contents to a folder. Right click on the “Registry” file and select “Edit” to open in notepad, replace  all occurrences of “YourUsernameHere ” with the username given by you to Windows, (for example mine is Venkat).

replace yourusernamehere thumb How to Set Google Chrome Canary As Default Browser in Windows

2. Save the changes to the registry file and close it. Now close all browsers if any opened. Run the registry file to which you just made the changes. You’ll get a warning from the registry editor, click “Yes” button.

registry editor warning thumb How to Set Google Chrome Canary As Default Browser in Windows

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3. Restart Windows Explorer or log off Windows and now try to open any other external link in applications like Word, it will open in Chrome Canary.

After this change, the Canary settings page still shows the message that “this is a secondary installation of Google Chrome and can not be made your default browser”, but it has been already set as a default one with the registry hack that we implemented successfully.

The registry file we used registers Canary as the default handler for file types such as .html, .htm, .xhtml, .xhtm, and Internet shortcut files. It’s working for us.

You can undo the changes made to the registry by running the uninstall registry file found in the CanaryAsDefault folder extracted earlier. [Via Techie -buzz and Raymond.cc forum]

Update: Dropbox links are not working due to traffic, we’ve uploaded the same file to Mediafire which you can download from below.

Download CanaryDefault Zip file