Apps Choose Default Apps in Windows 11


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Default_app_banner.png

A default app is the program that Windows has assigned to open a file or link type with by default when you open it.

Default apps you choose will only apply to your account and will not affect other accounts on the PC.

Reference:

Starting with Windows 11 build 22567, Microsoft has updated the “Open with” dialog box to align with Windows 11 design principles. The updated dialog box honors light/dark theme. We have also simplified the experience by making it possible to update your default app with just one click.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22579, is reverting the Open With dialog box redesign. Microsoft plans to bring this back in the future after addressing some performance issues identified by Windows Insiders.

Starting with Windows 11 build 25206, the updated “Open with” dialog box is now available to all.

1646245296618.png


This tutorial will show you different ways to set default apps used to open file and link types for your account in Windows 11.


Contents





Option One

Choose Default App for File Type in "Open with" Context Menu


1 Right click or press and hold on a file, click/tap on Open with, and click/tap on Choose another app. (see screenshots below)

If the file does not have a default app assigned to it (aka: unassociated), you will only have Open with available in the context menu.


Choose_default_app_Open_with-1.png
Choose_default_app_Open_with-2.png

2 Check the Always use this app to open <file type> files (old) box. (see screenshots below step 4)

If you do not check Always use this app to open <file type> files, the app you choose to open the file with will not be set as the default app.


3 Click/tap on the More apps (old) link. (see screenshots below step 4)

4 Perform one of the following actions to select an app: (see screenshots below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Notepad") will show under Keep using this app (old) or Default app (new).

  • Select a listed app, and click/tap on OK (old) or Always (new - set as default app) or Just once (new).
  • Click/tap on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store (old) or Browse apps in the Microsoft Store (new) to install an app from the Microsoft Store and set it as the default app.
  • Click/tap on the Look for another app on this PC (old) or Choose an app on your PC (new) link, browse to and select an app (.exe, .pif, .com, .bat, or .cmd), and click/tap on Open.
Choose_default_app_and_open-1.png
Choose_default_app_and_open-2.png
Choose_default_app_and_open-3.png
New_open_with.png

5 The file will now open with the selected default app.




Option Two

Choose Default App for File Type in File Properties


1 Right click or press and hold on a file, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

Choose_default_app_Properties-1.png

2 In the General tab on the Properties page, click/tap on the Change button to the right of Opens with. (see screenshot below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Notepad") will show to the right of Opens with.


Choose_default_app_Properties-2.png

3 Click/tap on the More apps (old) link. (see screenshots below step 4)

4 Perform one of the following actions to select an app: (see screenshots below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Notepad") will show under Keep using this app (old) or Default app (new).

  • Select a listed app, and click/tap on OK (old) or Set default (new).
  • Click/tap on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store (old) or Browse apps in the Microsoft Store (new) to install an app from the Microsoft Store and set it as the default app.
  • Click/tap on the Look for another app on this PC (old) or Choose an app on your PC (new) link, browse to and select an app (.exe, .pif, .com, .bat, or .cmd), and click/tap on Open.
Choose_default_app-1.png
Choose_default_app-2.png
Choose_default_app-3.png

new_open_with_properties.png




Option Three

Choose Defaults by Apps in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Default apps on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Settings_Default_apps.png

3 Search or scroll for the app (ex: "Notepad") you want to choose defaults for, and click/tap on the app (ex: "Notepad"). (see screenshots below)

Choose_defaults_by_app-1.png
Choose_defaults_by_app-2.png

4 Click/tap on the file or link type (ex: ".txt") you want to set a default app for. (see screenshot below)

The current default app (ex: "Notepad") for a file or link type will show under the file or link type.


Choose_defaults_by_app-3.png

5 Click/tap on the More apps (old) link. (see screenshots below step 6)

6 Perform one of the following actions to select an app: (see screenshots below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Notepad") will show under Keep using this app (old) or Default app (new).

  • Select a listed app, and click/tap on OK (old) or Set default (new).
  • Click/tap on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store (old) or Browse apps in the Microsoft Store (new) to install an app from the Microsoft Store and set it as the default app.
  • Click/tap on the Look for another app on this PC (old) or Choose an app on your PC (new) link, browse to and select an app (.exe, .pif, .com, .bat, or .cmd), and click/tap on Open.
Choose_default_app-1.png
Choose_default_app-2.png
Choose_default_app-3.png
new_open_with_properties.png

7 When finished, you can close Settings if you like.




Option Four

Choose Defaults by File Type in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Default apps on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Settings_Default_apps.png

3 Click/tap on Choose defaults by file type towards the bottom of the right side. (see screenshot below)

Choose_defaults_by_file_type-1.png

4 Search or scroll for a file type (ex: ".txt") you want to choose defaults for, and click/tap on the file type (ex: ".txt"). (see screenshots below)

The current default app (ex: "Notepad") for a file type will show under the file type.


Choose_defaults_by_file_type-2.png
Choose_defaults_by_file_type-3.png

5 Click/tap on the More apps (old) link. (see screenshots below step 6)

6 Perform one of the following actions to select an app: (see screenshots below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Notepad") will show under Keep using this app (old) or Default app (new).

  • Select a listed app, and click/tap on OK (old) or Set default (new).
  • Click/tap on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store (old) or Browse apps in the Microsoft Store (new) to install an app from the Microsoft Store and set it as the default app.
  • Click/tap on the Look for another app on this PC (old) or Choose an app on your PC (new) link, browse to and select an app (.exe, .pif, .com, .bat, or .cmd), and click/tap on Open.
Choose_default_app-1.png
Choose_default_app-2.png
Choose_default_app-3.png
new_open_with_properties.png

7 When finished, you can close Settings if you like.




Option Five

Choose Defaults by Link Type in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Default apps on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Settings_Default_apps.png

3 Click/tap on Choose defaults by link type towards the bottom of the right side. (see screenshot below)

Choose_defaults_by_link_type-1.png

4 Search or scroll for a link type (ex: "MAILTO") you want to choose defaults for, and click/tap on the link type (ex: "MAILTO"). (see screenshots below)

The current default app (ex: "Mail") for a file type will show under the file type.


Choose_defaults_by_link_type-2.png
Choose_defaults_by_link_type-3.png

5 Perform one of the following actions to select an app: (see screenshots below)

If this file type has a default app currently assigned to it, the default app (ex: "Mail") will show under Keep using this app (old) or Default app (new).

  • Select a listed app, and click/tap on OK (old) or Set default (new).
  • Click/tap on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store (old) or Browse apps in the Microsoft Store (new) to install an app from the Microsoft Store and set it as the default app.
Choose_defaults_by_link_type-4.png
Choose_defaults_by_link_type-5.png
New_open_with_link_type.jpg

6 When finished, you can close Settings if you like.




Option Six

Choose Default Web Browser in Settings


This option is only available starting with Windows 11 build 22509 and build 2200.593.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Default apps on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Settings_Default_apps.png

3 Click/tap on the web browser (ex: "Google Chrome", "Mozilla Firefox", "Microsoft Edge", etc...) you want to set as the default web browser. (see screenshot below)

Choose_default_web_browser-1.png

4 Click/tap on the Set default button at the top. You will see a check mark indicating it has been set as the default web browser for your account. (see screenshot below)

Choose_default_web_browser-2.png

5 You can now close Settings if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Edwin

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That's a helluva lot of hoops to jump through!
Why the heck not set an app as default for all protocols it can handle in one click?
 

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Drybonz

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I was just thinking that it seems like they have gradually been making it harder to change default apps. It used to be you went in to the program and clicked a button to change it to the default and you were done.
 

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iko22

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Option 2, Step 3 "Click/tap on the Moore apps link. (see screenshots below step 4)" - I'm sure that is supposed to read "More apps".
 

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iko22

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I like Option Four "Choose Defaults by File Type in Settings", that's new in Windows 11 and it is a great location to have the option.
 

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@Brink,
5 Click/tap on the Moore apps link. (see screenshots below step 6)
 

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Brink

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Option 2, Step 3 "Click/tap on the Moore apps link. (see screenshots below step 4)" - I'm sure that is supposed to read "More apps".
(y)
 

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takysoft

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Awesome description.
And what can I do, when these steps don't work?

I can set default apps for most extensions.... but not for video files for some reason...

If I Right on an mkv or mp4 file, and choose to open it with something else, the option to "always use that app" is missing.
If I right click and select Properties, de option to choose a default app is missing for mkv and mp4 files.
If I open the default app ooptions for VLC, mkv and mp4 are missing from the list.
If I try to add mp4 or mkv extensions for the other setting, the "add" button is greyed out.

Mostly only for video files..
The rest seem to work.
Anybody? Any answer?

Examples
1.jpg
1a.jpg

For the jpg file, the button is there.

2.jpg
2a.jpg

For the mp4 file, the "always use this app" is missing.


3.jpg
3a.jpg

For jpg, the app is selectable, for mp4, the buton is greyed out.

Sorry for the hungarian images, but the language should not be important here.
 

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Quandary

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Click Win key, enter Default apps, enter Film in the "Set defaults for applications". Expand the Films & TV, and scroll to the extension you want to change......
 

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takysoft

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Awesome description.
And what can I do, when these steps don't work?

I got it actually. I though I'll share it in case someone would need it.
For some reason Windows 11 has some preconfigured apps "buggy", and you need to reset them. (in my case picture viewer, video and music player)

Open a Powershell(preferably in admin, I only tried in admin), and enter these command:

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.ZuneVideo -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.ZuneMusic -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

No restart needed. The abovementioned methods should work after this :)
 

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Dzomlija

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Awesome description.
And what can I do, when these steps don't work?

I can set default apps for most extensions.... but not for video files for some reason...

If I Right on an mkv or mp4 file, and choose to open it with something else, the option to "always use that app" is missing.
If I right click and select Properties, de option to choose a default app is missing for mkv and mp4 files.
If I open the default app ooptions for VLC, mkv and mp4 are missing from the list.
If I try to add mp4 or mkv extensions for the other setting, the "add" button is greyed out.

Mostly only for video files..
The rest seem to work.
I get the same.

I at first thought that it was a fault with the VLC installation as carried over from the Windows 10 I upgraded from. But even after re-installing VLC and being sure to specify that all familiar video file types are selected for association, the problem still occurs for me with MP4 and MKV videos....
 

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takysoft

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I get the same.

I at first thought that it was a fault with the VLC installation as carried over from the Windows 10 I upgraded from. But even after re-installing VLC and being sure to specify that all familiar video file types are selected for association, the problem still occurs for me with MP4 and MKV videos....
I also posted the solution after my initial comment :)
Did it work for you?
 

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All of these solutions seam to be setting the default for one file type. It is time-consuming to switch every single one. In 10 you could set Firefox, for example, to open all the file types that it could handle.
 

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Brink

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All of these solutions seam to be setting the default for one file type. It is time-consuming to switch every single one. In 10 you could set Firefox, for example, to open all the file types that it could handle.

Hopefully, that feature will be added back in the future if enough people send feedback to Microsoft about it. :(
 

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Hi,
Yeah show more is removed in first minute of hitting the desktop lol
 

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    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
    Internet Speed
    xfinity gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    mbam pro

ThrashZone

Minor Threat
Power User
VIP
Local time
8:44 AM
Posts
1,156
OS
Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
Hopefully, that feature will be added back in the future if enough people send feedback to Microsoft about it. :(
You know ms doesn't listen to anyone not using a surface.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    asus x3
    CPU
    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
    Internet Speed
    xfinity gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    mbam pro

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
8:44 AM
Posts
5,657
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
Tutorial now updated for option 6 to set a default web browser for your account in Settings.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
8:44 AM
Posts
5,657
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
Tutorial updated to include the new "Open with" dialog. :-)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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