Change Default Programs in Windows 7

You can change the default programs used to open files on your computer in Windows 7. Typically, you will never need to change default programs, but there will be times when a program overtakes the default application, or if you uninstall the default application it may revert to a program that is not desirable. Fortunately, Windows 7 makes changing default programs quite easy.

To do this, go to the Start menu, then the Control Panel.

Then under the Programs section, click Default Programs, and then Set your default programs.

In the left column, you will see programs–many of which may be similar–such as web browsers. Click the program you want to use, then click the button that says Set this program as default.

Watch this video to see how we performed the above steps in Windows 7.

The default program is a program that the Operating System uses when you open a certain file type, such as a music file, an image, or a website. For instance, if you have more than one web browser installed on your computer, you can select one over the other, such as Firefox over Internet Explorer.

But as stated above, the default file type can often be changed by a newly installed program, so be careful when installing new programs and keep an eye out for check boxes stating that they will become the default program for certain types of file extensions. iTunes is and Quicktime player are notorious for taking over a system and opening music and movie files that Microsoft used to open.

This video was created to help you understand how to change the default file association of a program quickly and easily in Windows 7, but the same principle applies in other version of Windows. In XP, however, you will use Shift + right-click, then select the Open With option from the menu, then select the program from the list. Be sure to tick the box that says to always use that program by default when that file type is launched.