Set or change default apps in Windows 10

Just like everything with software, there are different apps can do the same job. In an earlier guide, we discussed how you can set up mobile hotspot in Windows 10 using the system settings. In fact, for Lenovo users, you can also create mobile hotspot using the Lenovo Settings app. They bring us convenience and efficiency, yet they have negative effects at the same time. For example, too many options may lead to confusion. In a recent update, we saw that Lenovo discontinued the mobile hotspot in Lenovo Settings and leave it to the Windows system to avoid duplication and confusion. Likewise if too many programs on the computer can open the same files, users may get confused. An effective way to avoid this trouble is to set a default program or app for specific actions, file types or protocols. If you are using a Windows 10 PC, you can follow below instructions to change or set default apps on your computer.

Easiest way to set default app in Windows 10

Launch the File Explorer and browse to a file with the extension that you like to set a default app to open. If you can’t see the file extensions, refer to this guide to show file extension in Windows 10.

Right click on the file, select Open with option from the drop-down menu, then select ‘Choose another app‘, do not choose the target app even if it is already displayed in the Open with menu. After that you will see a pop-up dialogue titled ‘How do you want to open this file‘. Here you can choose the default app from the ‘Other options‘ list, then click to enable ‘Always use this app to open ….. files‘, finally hit the OK button to open the selected and set the default app to open this specific file type.

Change default app in Windows 10 Settings

You can also head to the Windows system settings and modify default apps settings. Click the Start button at the bottom left corner from Windows 10 desktop, then choose Settings from the pop-up menu. The Windows Settings dialogue pops up, choose System >> Default apps. You will see a screen like below.

configure default apps settings on windows 10 pc

Here you have different ways to configure default apps in Windows 10.

Method 1. Choose a default app

If a default app is missing or not set yet, click the + Choose a default app button to select a default app on Windows 10 computer.

Method 2. Change a new default app

If you see the default app, for example Microsoft Edge is set as the default app for web browsing, it is the default web browser on my computer, in this case, you can also change it by clicking the current web browser name to get a drop-down menu where you can pick other installed browsers and choose a new one to replace the current default app.

Method 3. Choose default app by file type

Here you can choose default apps to open all kinds of file types on your Windows 10 PC. Still using web browsing as the example. If you want to use Microsoft Edge as the default web browser to open HTML page files, go to find the .html file type, then choose Microsoft Edge as the default app or change the current web browser to Microsoft Edge from there.

Method 4. Choose default app by protocol

You can find various protocols on your computer for there and change or set a default app for them, such as Word protocol is usually related to Microsoft Office, HTTP, HTTPS are connected with a web browser on your computer.

Method 5. Set defaults by app

Compared to choosing default app by file types, this method works the other way around. You choose the installed app on your computer first, then choose various file types in the support list and set this app as the default app to open all the selected file types.

Configure default apps on mobile

In fact, mobile phone users may have the same problem as well. For example, if you have multiple media players on the phone, you may be prompted to change an app to play the movies if a default app is not set yet. You can refer to following tutorial to change default apps on Xiaomi & Redmi phones and these steps to change default apps on Lenovo phone. Other Android phones share many similarities in the default app configuration.