Change the default browser and other apps in Windows 10

Posted on 31st August 2016

Windows 10 has certain applications recommended by Microsoft as the default app for various functions such as browsing, viewing photos, playing music and videos and others. For example the default web browser in Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge, default music player is Groove Music, Photo viewer is the Photos app. Follow the steps below to change these default applications. You could also configure default applications based on file type or protocol.

  1. Click Start menu and select Settings.
    windows 10 settings
  2. Select System.
    windows 10 system
  3. Select Default apps.
    windows 10 default app
    You will see the current default apps for Email, maps, Music player, Video player and Web browser.
    windows 10 default browser
  4. To change the default app, click on the current default app and choose a new app. For example to change the default web browser, tap or click on Microsoft Edge and choose a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox which you have already installed. You could also look for a new app from the store.
    change default app
  5. The Reset button changes back all to Microsoft recommended apps.

Setting default apps by file type

You could associate a file type with an application so that Windows will use that particular application to open such files. For example, AVI Files (.avi) by default are opened in Films & TV app. You can change this to another app such as Windows Media Player or VLC Media Player. To make this change:

  1. Click or Tap on Choose default applications by file type.
    default app for file type
  2. Select the current default app for AVI files, typically Films & TV, Then from the Choose an application menu select your favourite video player or look for a new app from the store.
    choose default app

Setting default apps by protocol

Another advanced option allows you to set a default application by protocol. For example you can set Microsoft Edge as your default browser for all HTTP urls and Internet Explorer or other browsers for all HTTPS urls. To set the default app for a protocol select Choose default applications by protocol option and choose the app for the protocols you wish to change.

Setting defaults by app

You can set an app as a default app so that Windows 10 will use that app to open all file types that app can open.

  1. Select Set defaults by app option.
  2. Select the app you want to set as default. For example select VLC Player.
    change default program by app
  3. In the above screenshot you will notice that this program is the default for 77 file types out of the possible 117. To set this program as default for all possible 117 file types, click or tap on Set this program as default.
  4. Alternatively, you could select the protocols and file types for this program by selecting the Choose defaults for this program option.
  5. Click OK after all changes are made.

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