Setting your preferred apps to open specific types of files, is extremely useful. If these settings are not performed, when you double-click on a file it will be opened using another application (the one that is set as default) and if you’d want to open it with another program you’d have to use the “Open with” option and choose your app from the related menu.
Changing the default program for a specific file
If you want a certain application to open a specific file type, right-click on a file with that extension, select Open With – Choose default program…
A pop-up window will appear, listing all the apps that can open that file. Make sure the option “Use this app for all files” is enabled. Choose the application you want in the dialog box and you’re done.
The classic Control Panel method (for Windows 8/8.1)
This method allows you to set default applications for more than one file.
1. Go to Control Panel – Programs – Default Programs – Set your default programs.
2. For any selected program you can choose Set this program as default (this will make that app open all the file types it can open by default) or Choose default for this program (this option lets you select specific file types and protocol for that program to open).
Default Apps Settings (for Windows 8.1)
This is a new method available in Windows 8.1.
1. Open PC Settings. You can use the Search function or open up the Charms bar (move the mouse to the top or bottom right corner of the screen) and click/tap on the Settings Charm and then on Change PC Settings.
2. Click Search and Apps and then on Defaults.
3. A list will appear displaying default apps organized by category. If a category doesn’t have a default app, you’ll see a “+” sign with the text “Choose a default”. This option lets you set a default app for that category.
4. To change a current default app, click/tap on it and a pop-up menu with other compatible apps and a link to the Windows Store (where you can find others) will appear.
At the bottom of the screen there are two more options: Choose default apps by file type and Choose default apps by protocol. In both cases the default apps will be organized by file types or protocol and you can also change them by clicking on the current default app and selecting another one from the pop-up menu.