Windows 10 – default programs

Another Windows 10 anomaly I have come across is that it has become unclear how to access default software preferences.

I remember years ago back in Windows 95 being frustrated because I had downloaded a trial program which had installed itself as the default program for images. When the trial ran out I could no longer open any images by clicking them in an explorer window because the default program was not responding. I spent months without a solution until I realised that you can ‘tell’ Windows which program to use by default (this was done simply in any explorer window – tools/folder options/file types). So where is this functionality in Widows 10?

There are the main default programs which can be accessed via ‘settings’/’default apps’ – this allows you to state which programs you want to use for email, browsing, maps, photos etc..

defaultAt the bottom of the right hand column however, is the option for ‘choose default options by file type’ – clicking on this gives you the whole list of file types on the left, and the default programs on the right.

You can see on this illustration that I have OpenOffice writer as my preferred option for opening ‘doc’ and ‘docx’ files (in other words documents created using Microsoft WORD). Clicking on a square icon on the right-hand side should allow you to change the default for any other suitable software you have installed currently on your PC, or to choose an app from the Widows 10 store.default1

Now, my experience with the Windows 10 store has been disappointing to put it mildly, so personally I think things would have to be pretty desperate for me to decide to opt for an ‘app’. I would always go for an ‘old school’ software download option (from a trusted download site).

Nonetheless, if you were struggling to find this particular feature in the Windows 10 environment whether on your desktop or your ‘phone – I trust this post would have been useful to you.

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