How do I set default apps in Windows 11?
Windows 11 uses file associations to determine what app opens a file type by default. For example, when you double-click a .PNG file in Windows 11, Microsoft Photos automatically opens the file. That's because Windows 11 associates PNG files with Microsoft Photos.
If you want a file type to open in a different default app, you can change its file association. For example, you can associate PNG files with Microsoft Paint, so PNG files instead open in Paint.
There are two primary ways to change file associations in Windows 11: 1) In Windows 11 Settings and 2) by right-clicking an individual file.
Change a file association in Windows 11 Settings
If you are comfortable navigating Windows 11 Settings, the best way to change a file association is to:
- Open the menu and select .
- From the left sidebar menu, select . Then, select .
- Scroll down and, in , select .
- In the search box that appears, enter the file type whose file association you want to change.
- Click the button that appears under the file type's name. (The button shows the file type's current default app.)
- In the menu that appears, select your new default app. Then, select .
After you select, the new default app you chose will appear in the button beneath your file type. Now, when you double-click a file of that type, it will open in that app.
Change a file association while opening a file
If you want to avoid the Windows 11 settings menu, you can change a file type's file association while opening a file of that type. To do so:
- Right-click a file of the type whose association you want to change. Then, select .
- Select the app with which you want to open this file type.
- Select the You must select thecheckbox to permanently change a file type's file association. If you do not select the checkbox, the file type will open in the app you selected only this once.
- Select .
After you select, your file will open in the new default app you selected, and its icon will change to that app's icon.