In other articles we talked about how to set your default programs for various activities, using the "Set Default Programs" panel and the list of programs that Windows puts in that panel. However, that's not your only option when you want to set defaults. In this article we'll tell you about the other options you have for setting default programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
How to set the default programs and associations for file types and protocols in Windows
There are hundreds of different kinds of files on your computer including images, videos, music, text documents, executable applications and much more. Each file stores different information in different ways and can only be opened by certain programs. Windows takes the potential confusion out of this system by associating certain programs with certain file types right out of the box. While your default associations will work for most apps and programs, you'll undoubtedly want to change a few as you try out alternative applications and find new favorites. Read on and we'll show how to change file associations in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
You've probably noticed that every time you insert some kind of media (a flash drive, CD or DVD), an AutoPlay window is shown with several options for you to pick from. If you would like to configure how AutoPlay works, both in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, this guide will show how:
When you install Windows Photo Gallery, you are not asked whether you want to set it as the default image viewer. In order to do that, you have to go through several steps. You can set it as the default viewer for all image types, just a few of them or only one type. In this guide we will cover all three scenarios:
As PC users, we all encountered files with uncommon extensions from time to time. Of course we all know about .docx files, .pdf files, .mp3 files or .iso files. But have you heard about the .eps file extension? How about .dng? What do you do if you have to open such files? In this article we are going to show how to deal with files that have unknown file extensions and learn which apps or programs to install in order to view their content.
Many of us prefer to use the same program to open certain types of files. For example, you may like to use Photo Gallery to open pictures and Windows Media Player to open music and videos. Or you may have third-party software that you like better. Fortunately, both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 make it very easy to set your own preferences. Here's how:
In Windows 8.1 you can also set the AutoPlay settings for your media and devices, directly from PC Settings. There you have access to almost the same customization options found in the Control Panel. This tutorial shares where to find the AutoPlay settings and how to fiddle with them.
The PC Settings panel in Windows 8.1 has been expanded to include even more configuration options. One of them is the possibility to change the default apps used by Windows 8.1 to perform different activities (like browsing the web or playing video), to open different file types and protocols. Personally, I like this new way of setting defaults better than using the old Control Panel. Here's how it works:
One of the things that became obvious after publishing our series on how to set default programs, associate file types and set up AutoPlay settings, is that Windows 7 has limited capabilities for setting all these things. Fortunately for us, there are third party programs, such as the Default Programs Editor that allow you to do all this plus customize context menus. In this tutorial I will share where you can get this cool program from and how it works.