How to change default programs in Windows 8

Windows 8 chooses its default players to run your music and video, but what if you want different programs to open your files? Here's how to change them.

How to change default programs in Windows 8
Screenshot by CNET UK

Windows has a set of programs that it will always use by default when you're opening certain file types. Movies, for example, open with the new Videos app in Windows 8. Most of the time this is fine, but you might prefer a different program to do the job, such as VLC Media Player.

To change the default program, right-click on the file you want to open and select Open with > Choose default program.

How to change default programs in Windows 8
Screenshot by CNET UK

This will open a new dialogue in Windows 8, with this Metro-style interface (curiously, it opens within the traditional desktop), where you can select what you wish to use. Check the box that says "Use this app for all files" to make the change permanent.

How to change default programs in Windows 8
Screenshot by CNET UK

If you want to do this for more than one file type at a time, you can still make changes through the Control Panel. If you haven't got it pinned to your Start screen, the quickest way to open it is to do a quick search through the Charms bar. Once it's open, select Programs > Default Programs.

How to change default programs in Windows 8
Screenshot by CNET UK

From here, you can choose to either associate certain file types with programs or list all of the programs available and set specific ones as defaults for all of the file types it can open.

As there are so many file types to go through, I find it easier to select "Set your default programs" (as seen in the main image at the top of the page). From here, you can set each program to become the default for all of the file types it's able to open.

Originally published as " How to change default programs in Windows 8 " on CNET UK.

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About the author

    John Thompson has been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He has been the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he accidentally destroyed the first six. John is a freelance journalist and is not an employee of CNET.

     

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