How to Change Default Programs in Windows 7?

Set Change Default Programs in Windows 7
Set/Change Default Programs in Windows 7

What is Default Programs?

In simple words, Default Program is just a program like any other program but with high priority to open/process any file. In other words default program is your favorite program to perform any task. Confused? Let me explain you.

Think of the case where you want to read any pdf file. You double click on pdf file to open, system will open your pdf file in adobe acrobat pdf reader. In most of the case, system will NOT open google chrome, mozilla firefox or any other pdf reader program to read your pdf file (unless you set it). Don’t get confused with google chrome or mozilla firefox. I am going in little bit depth. Have you wondered anytime that why system opening adobe acrobat pdf reader ONLY. Now, it’s time to pay the attention.

In your system, there could be many programs installed/available which can read pdf file. For example, google chrome, opera browser, mozilla firefox all of them can read pdf file. But, guess if you open pdf file and system asks you which program to open to read pdf file. What would you do? You would select any program and move ahead. But what if system asks you to select program every time whenever you want to open pdf file.

This situation is very irritating and time consuming to select program every time. Here, comes the Default Programs. To select Default Programs in windows you have to tell the system only ONCE. What you will say to system? You will say to system that even if you have multiple pdf reader, but whenever I want to read PDF file, use the adobe acrobat pdf reader only. So, in this case, adobe acrobat pdf reader is the Default Programs to read pdf file.

Another example: When you go to stationary shop and ask for a PEN, shopkeeper will give you BLUE PEN. Because most of the people uses blue pen for their routine or office work. So, we can say that BLUE colour is the Default colour to buy a pen for office work.

Why/When we need to Change Default Programs in Windows?

There are lots of default programs/softwares to open different types of files in windows. Like VLC media player for Video, Winamp for Audio, Windows Photo Viewer to open Image files.

But, sometimes by mistake or by virus or by any technical reason, default programs get changed for some regular used file extensions. And then we fill ourself in a very awkward situation. Because we are used to open the files in default programs and its not working as we are used to with it.

Like you want to watch your favourite movie and suddenly it opens in some other video player instead of VLC then you will not able to use the features/controls properly and you can’t enjoy the movie. Because we don’t feel comfortable with any other programs rather than we used to. For example I am a regular user of VLC video player. Actually, I use VLC player to listen audio songs also. I remember most of the common features/controls of VLC like to change volume, to change playing speed, how to seek, how to add subtitle etc. So, it’s a very tough situation to handle when default programs got changed.

Let me give you another example, I always prefer to read pdf files in acrobat reader. But few days ago, I mistakely changed acrobat reader to google chrome as default programs to open pdf files. Then whenever I open pdf, it opens in google chrome. I can’t adjust myself to read pdf in google chrome. Because to work with pdf files, both google chrome and acrobat reader have controls at completely different places. Later I got the point and then I changed default programs to open pdf back to acrobat reader. Let’s see how I did that.

How to Change Default Programs in Windows 7?

  • Open Start menu by clicking on Start button Window 7 Start Button, and then select Default Programs.
    • Default Program Windows 7 - Default Programs
  • Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program. Wait until window displays the list of file extensions (list of file types).
    • Default Program Windows 7 - Associate a File
  • Find your file extension or protocol from the list and select it then Click on Change program button.
    • Default Program Windows 7 - Default Program Before
  • Select the program that you want to use as the default programs for the file type you selected, or click the arrow next to see Other Programs to show additional programs available on your computer. After selecting your program, click on OK button.
    • Default Program Windows 7 - Select Program
  • If you don’t see Other Programs, or your program is not listed, click Browse to find the program you want to use, and then click Open. If no other programs are installed that are able to open the file type or protocol, you might have to install some other software for your file extension. If you still can’t find your program, then there are chances that either your program is corrupted or it is not installed properly. In this situation, windows will not able to show your program in the list.
  • After selecting your default program, don’t forget to check the name of your selected program, it will be mentioned at top of file extension list. Please refer the image given below.
    • Default Program Windows 7 - Default Program After

Note: You cannot change an association for a file type or protocol and leave it blank or disassociated. You must select at least one program. The option(s) you set here only applies to user account you are currently logged in. Other user will not be able to use default programs as you set here. They have to select it in their user account according to their choice.

Now, you know very well about how to change default programs in windows 7. If this post helped you then please share it with your friends and family to know about it. If you have any questions then feel free to ask in comment section. We will try our best to help you. Have a great time.

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Please visit Official Website of Microsoft to know more about Default Programs.

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One thought on “How to Change Default Programs in Windows 7?

  • March 7, 2022 at 1:26 am

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like that before. So nice to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!


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