With this article we are going to start a small series on choosing the programs that Windows 7 uses as defaults for different kind of tasks. In this episode I will show you how to set the default programs for your user account. This includes opening the list of default programs, setting how to open all file types or protocols a program can handle and how to choose from the program's list of capabilities, the specific file extensions or protocols that you want to be opened by it.
Where to Find the Set Default Programs Panel
There are two ways of finding the Set Default Programs panel. The first is to open Control Panel and choose Programs, and from there to click on Default Programs.
Click on Set your default programs in the Default programs control panel.
The second option is to use the search box of the Start Menu, type the word 'default' and choose Default Programs. From here, like above, click on 'Set your default programs'.
NOTE: all the settings you will make will be applied only to your user account. The changes done in this window will not apply to other user accounts.
How to Set Default Programs
In the 'Set Default Programs' window you will see a list of all available programs that you can set as default, meaning that you can set a program to handle all the file types and protocols that it can open or you can choose specifically which of these to handle. As you might notice, these are only some of the installed programs on your computer and you cannot add others to this list. To see more information about a specific program, choose it from the list by clicking it.
Let's take for example Internet Explorer - when you click it in the programs' list you can see its name, the software manufacturer name, a link to its website and some details on the program. Under the description box you can see a note that states for how many of the total list of file types and protocols is Internet Explorer set as default.
If you want to set a program as default for all file types and protocols it can open, click the 'Set this program as default' button.
To pick the exact file types and protocols that you want to be opened by your selected program, click the 'Choose defaults for this program' button.
In the Set Program Association window you can see the list of all the file types and protocols that can be opened by default with your selected program. Click the check box for the extensions or protocols that you want to add or remove. Click Select all if you want to mark all the possible file types and protocols.
If you want to set for some extensions other programs than ones listed in the 'Set default programs' list you will have to do it manually from 'Associate a file type or a protocol to a program' option in the Default programs window. Fore more information on how to do that stay tuned to our website.
In this article I have showed you how set a program as default for all or for some file types and protocols that it can open by default. We'll come back soon for details on how to associate a file type or a protocol to a program, how to set program access and computer defaults or how to change AutoPlay settings. Until then, check out our articles recommended below.