Change or Set Default Programs & Applications on Windows 8.1

One of the common things we do is to set the default applications, with which we would like to open files. We usually fix the default browser, the default video player and so on. In this post I’ll show you how to change the Default programs on Windows 8.1. It’s pretty easy to change it, I’m just saving everyone’s time by showing where the options are, so it will be much easier to locate.

Change the Default Applications on Windows 8.1

Follow these steps

  • Press the Start Button and type in PC Settings.

  • Select the PC Settings and in PC Settings select “Search & apps“.

  • Now under “Search & apps” select Defaults.

  • Under Defaults you’ll find various options to change the default programs like Web Browser, E-mail, Music Player, Video Player, Photo Viewer etc. which are shown in the image below.

  • Now just click on Choose a default and select from the available list.

Now let say you want to change the default file association for a particular extension. In this case,  you have to scroll down a bit. You will find something called “Default apps by file type”.

There just select the extension you want and choose from the available list. The only drawback doing it this way, is that there is no option to browse and select the application we want. Here are few examples if you wish to see them.

The advantage of using this option is the ability to change the default association to Windows 8 apps.

I hope you find this tip helpful. If you have any questions feel free to ask under our comments sections.

Read: How to change default browser or programs in Windows 10.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at