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Setting default programs

From: Windows 8.1 Essential Training

Video: Setting default programs

If you've ever been browsing through files, maybe they're documents, music files, video files, whatever, when you double click a tile that's been pinned to the start screen, for an actual file, or maybe using file explorer, the default program launches, to work with that file. Well, you can change the defaults. Good news is, you can do it all now, from the Windows 8.1 start screen, using Settings. Before we do that though, let's take a look at, what I'm talking about. We'll go to the desktop, and if that's where you have your exercise files folder, double-click it to open it.

Setting default programs

If you've ever been browsing through files, maybe they're documents, music files, video files, whatever, when you double click a tile that's been pinned to the start screen, for an actual file, or maybe using file explorer, the default program launches, to work with that file. Well, you can change the defaults. Good news is, you can do it all now, from the Windows 8.1 start screen, using Settings. Before we do that though, let's take a look at, what I'm talking about. We'll go to the desktop, and if that's where you have your exercise files folder, double-click it to open it.

You could also follow along with your own files, if you can find a music file, like an mp3 file and just click once, to highlight it. You'll notice here in explore, on the ribbon and if you're not seeing the ribbon, maybe it's hidden. You can expand and collapse this. But here in the open category, you'll see the same little logo, next to open as you do, for the thumbnail itself. This represents the music app for MP3 files and many other types of audio files. The music app is going to open up, but maybe you want to open it with something different.

Well you could go to the drop down and choose Windows Media Player, for example. But maybe you want that to be the default. So that's what we're going to talk about, in this movie. Let's go back to the Start screen now and here's what I'd like to do. I want to set up default programs, so I'm going to start typing default. D e f and all of a sudden, you're going to see things like, Default Programs. Now this will take us to that old desktop environment, and we'll do things the old fashioned way here. If that's what you prefer, you can still do that. But notice down below, we can also choose a default app, for each type of file.

Let's click that. That takes us into our Default Apps, by file type. So as you can see, we can associate file types with specific apps. As I scroll down this list and I see different audio formats for example, many of them do use the Windows Media Player. Others though, as you can see, use the Music App, like the AAC files. And if I scroll way down this alphabetical list, I'll get into the MP3 files, that's what I'm looking for.

There it is, MP3. If I click the Music app, I can now choose something different. Something that I already have, like Windows Media Player, I could even look for a different app, in the store. I'm going to use Windows Media Player, select it here, and now some, of the audio formats will be using the music app, Mp3 files should now be opened up by default, in the Windows Media Player, so let's press our windows key, click the desktop, we're still looking at our exercise files here, and notice now, that the thumbnail has changed for our Mp3 file.

Also, the open button has defaulted to Windows Media Player. And we would have to click the drop down, to choose something different like music. Let's close this up. We'll go back to our start screen and type in, default again. And I just want you to see, we can choose default apps for each type of file, but also for protocols. We also have something called default app settings, let's click that, this is a little bit different. Now you're looking at search and apps, so it's a shortcut to defaults.

And you can see, we set up the defaults for the apps themselves, as opposed to the file types. So, if we click music, notice we can choose something different for all of our music files. We can choose Windows Media Player and now, every single music file would use that app or program, as opposed to the music app. We could also click Choose a Default down below. You can see when we click to deselect that and scroll down, some of them can be chosen like Calendar, for example. We could also go back to choosing default apps by file type or protocol, directly from here as well.

Let's press the Windows key once more, to get back to the start screen, and take a look at the old fashioned way, because there are some useful options there as well. Again, we can start to type default and this time, we'll click, Default Programs, which does take us to that old environment, where we can set our default programs. We could also associate files by types. When we click that link, notice this is exactly what we saw, in our settings from the start screen, there's our different extensions for file types. And you can see, we can change the program for anything that's selected.

Let's use the back button though, to go back, and go to set your default programs here. Again, we're setting up programs for file types, but in this case we select the program, not the file type, so go to music. And you can see here, we can set this program as a default for all music files. And it's going to change it back, so we won't be using the windows media player, for mp3 files any longer. When we click okay, we can test that out, by closing up our default programs window.

Going back to our exercise files and it should be changed back, to the music app and sure enough, that's what it is. So we did all music files at once and in this case, we saved a little bit of time, by not having to go to each file type and choosing the music app. So it's all there for you, most of it can be done directly from the start screen, via settings. But if you like to do things the old-fashioned way, you can still go back to your desktop, and do it that way.

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This video is part of

Image for Windows 8.1 Essential Training
Windows 8.1 Essential Training

57 video lessons · 16411 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 1m 23s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 32m 40s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 8.1 versions
      2m 43s
    2. Getting familiar with the user interface
      8m 11s
    3. Exploring the Windows 8.1 desktop
      6m 13s
    4. Using touch screens and gestures
      2m 8s
    5. Switching between apps with Switcher
      3m 50s
    6. Personalizing Windows 8.1
      7m 33s
    7. Creating tile groups
      2m 2s
  3. 43m 58s
    1. Using the ribbon in File Explorer
      10m 21s
    2. Organizing folders and files
      6m 22s
    3. Customizing folder behavior
      5m 28s
    4. Searching for files and file contents
      7m 22s
    5. Creating easy access to files and folders
      4m 56s
    6. Using SkyDrive
      4m 29s
    7. Copying files in a single window
      5m 0s
  4. 1h 11m
    1. Managing mail with the Mail app
      7m 46s
    2. Keeping dates with the Calendar app
      6m 59s
    3. Managing contacts in the People app
      9m 55s
    4. Communicating with contacts using Skype
      10m 13s
    5. Working with photos
      10m 58s
    6. Reading text with the Reader app
      4m 14s
    7. Managing music with the Music app
      8m 29s
    8. Locating places with Maps
      8m 29s
    9. Timing things with Alarms
      4m 19s
  5. 28m 18s
    1. Typing text with Sticky Notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      10m 30s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      10m 18s
    3. Performing calculations with the Calculator
      2m 55s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      4m 35s
  6. 31m 17s
    1. Viewing your current system specs
      4m 4s
    2. Controlling sound device volume settings
      7m 36s
    3. Removing unwanted applications
      2m 55s
    4. Setting default programs
      5m 26s
    5. Setting accessibility options
      8m 45s
    6. Navigation settings for desktop lovers
      2m 31s
  7. 20m 34s
    1. Getting connected
      4m 1s
    2. Connecting PCs with HomeGroup
      6m 29s
    3. Connecting to another computer with Remote Desktop
      2m 44s
    4. Selecting sharing options for networks
      3m 54s
    5. Adding and removing devices
      3m 26s
  8. 40m 48s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      4m 26s
    2. Viewing and resolving security issues with Action Center
      3m 28s
    3. Battling malicious software with Windows Defender
      4m 52s
    4. Controlling user account access
      3m 53s
    5. Secure your account with passwords and PINs
      5m 51s
    6. Using Parental Controls
      10m 8s
    7. Encrypting a drive with BitLocker
      4m 22s
    8. Using Encrypting File System (EFS)
      3m 48s
  9. 12m 2s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      3m 27s
    2. Printing files to the XPS format
      4m 53s
    3. Accessing and changing printer options
      3m 42s
  10. 20m 43s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      4m 10s
    2. Fixing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      4m 40s
    3. Backing up with File History
      5m 57s
    4. Reversing a fatal crash with System Restore
      3m 21s
    5. Reseting your Windows 8.1 installation
      2m 35s
  11. 40s
    1. Next steps
      40s

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