Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How to Set the Default Program Opening Specific Files

A file extension, the 3-4 letters after the period in a filename, tells a computer which program to use when opening that particular file. For example, in Document.pdf, .pdf is the file extension and in this example tells the computer to open the file using Adobe Reader, Acrobat or Pro. Sometimes a different program is used to open a file, a file type is not recognized, or a program is uninstalled, leaving the computer unsure of what program should be used to open the file. When this happens, knowing how to set the default program to open specific files is critical.

Setting the Default Program Opening Specific Files

  • Right-click the file type to change the default program used to open the file.
  • Hover over "Open with".

  • In the pop-out menu, select "Choose default program..." below the list of programs.

  • In the Open with window, click on the name of the program desired to open this file type by default.
  • Check the box next to "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" if not already checked then click "OK".

  • Once the setting has been saved, all files of this type will be opened with the program selected.
Updating the default program that opens specific file types is a setting that can be changed at any time. If a program is removed, a newer program is added that is a better match for opening files, or if the wrong program is assigned to open certain files, knowing how to change this setting is a time saver. Any file can be opened with a program different than the default by right-clicking and selecting "Open with" and selecting the program. A more efficient solution is setting the default program to open this file type so it automatically opens with the desired program each subsequent time.

As always, knowing multiple ways to accomplish the same thing ensures efficiency!

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