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How to change your default programs in Windows 10

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

Whenever you double-click on a file such as a word processing file, audio file, video file or web link, that file automatically opens in the application that is associated with it. For instance, if you double-click a .doc or .docx file and you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, Microsoft Word will automatically launch and open the file.

Changing Default Programs

However, you might have several different programs that can open the same file type. For instance, you may have downloaded the Firefox, Safari or Chrome web browsers and wish to use one of them instead of Microsoft’s Edge web browser. That’s where the need to change the default programs comes in. From the Default apps window, you can set the default program for specific file types, as well as specify which file types are associated with a particular program

To Set the Default Program

  1. Press the Windows key to display the Start screen.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click System in the Settings screen.
  4. Click Default Apps in the left pane.
  5. In the right pane, click the icon under the file type you want to change.

    Click the icon for the app you want to change

  6. Choose the program you want to use as default from the list.  

    Choose the app you want from the list

  7. If your application type isn’t listed in the window:
    a. Click the Set Defaults by App on the bottom of the screen.  

    Click Set Defaults by App

    b. In the program window, click the app that you want to set as default.
    c. Click Choose defaults for this program.

    click the app that you want to set as default

    d. Click the check box next to the file types that you want to associate with the application.  

    Click checkboxes next to apps you want to associate

    e. Click Save.
    f. Click OK.

    New to Windows 10?  Check out our latest guide entitled:  Windows 10: Up To Speed, available as a printable PDF from this site.  Also available as an ebook from Amazon, Kobo and iTunes.

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