How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11

Let’s learn How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11. Choosing apps for standard file types like documents, images, music files, and more is tricky. In Windows 11, you must specify a default app for every file type if someone is not satisfied with any default apps assigned by Windows, then changing them is a recommended option.

However, this process is simple in Windows 10 as compared to Windows 11. It comes with many inbuilt applications that are configured as default when opening a specific link or file type. Every user has a list of applications that they prefer to use. Users want to open certain file types in a particular program/application.

There are some processes for setting up the default app configuration. Configuring app details is not so hard, but you have to do it for each and every file type individually in Windows 11. In general setting a default app make some of your operation easy and faster.

When you install multiple apps that are used to open the file you want to view, the default is not set as you wanted. So you have to specify the default app for your file type or ling type to view them easily. You need certain file types to open in a particular app/program.

Patch My PC

Microsoft offers various ways to automate the default file association on Windows, When deploying Windows images, you can update the default programs associated with filename extensions or protocols. File Associations help IT admin automate the settings to open a certain file type to be directly set with the default application.

Process of Configure Default Apps

This process is trickier than as compared to Windows 10. You can access the Defaults Apps from the settings app and replace the current default app with the options preferred.

But in Windows 11, you need to set a program default for all the registered file types and links relevant to, hence there is no Set default for all options available. The procedures are listed below.

  • Configure Default Apps Using Open With Option
  • Configure Default Apps Using File Properties
  • Configure Default Apps Using Settings App
  • Configure Default Apps by File or Link Type

What is Default App?

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11

A Default App is the program that Windows has assigned to open a file or link type by default when the user opens it. The Default Apps chosen by the user only apply to the currently logged-in account, and that does not affect other accounts on your PC. This helps not to open a file type with any wrong default app.

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Configure Default Apps Using Open With Option

The easiest method of configuring the default app option is using the Open With option in the file context menu. To do so, right-click on the desired file you want to open. Then select the Open With option, there are some similar app platform options available, when you click on an option, it will open in the selected app. But here, you have to choose the option Choose Another App.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 2
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 2

After you choose the option “Choose Another App“, the next pop-up (1) shows the default application along with (2) some applications suggested by Microsoft. (3) Click on the Just Once button to open the selected program using the app for the current time, if you click on the button (4) Always, the app is selected as default.

If your application is not on the list, then select (5) Choose an app on your PC. If the app is unavailable on your PC, select (6) Browse apps in the Microsoft Store, navigate to the store, and then find the appropriate app for your program.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 3
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 3

Configure Default Apps Using File Properties

Another process is by using the File properties. To do select the file/link type and right-click on it. Then move down and click on Properties or you can select the file and press Alt + Enter to reach the properties window.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 4
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 4

In the properties window, you can see there is a General tab. Under the General tab, you can see a button Change adjacent to the option Opens With, click the change button.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 5
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 5

When you click on the app, open selection window opens, (1) the default app, (2) the list of suggested apps, if the suggested app is on your PC but not in the list, then click on (3) Choose an app on your PC. If the app is not on the PC, click (4) Browse apps in the Microsoft Store and select the appropriate app. Following the above process, if you get the right app, then click on (5) Set Default button to choose the default app.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 6
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 6

Successfully completing the above step, you will be back to the properties window, where you can see the default app is selected as desired by you, click on Apply the OK to complete the process.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 7
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 7

Configure Default Apps Using Settings App

You can configure default apps using the setting app, to do so, click on the Windows button (Start Button), then click the Setting (the gear image), or you can simply press Win key + I to open the settings window.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 8
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 8

In the settings window, click on Apps on the left pane; when the Apps option is shown in the right pane, click on the Default Apps option for file and link types and other defaults.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 9
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 9

Set a default for a file type or link type: In the search bar, enter the type or link type you want, then select it from the results list. You can choose which app to open that file or link type and press the Set Default button.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 10
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 10

Set defaults for applications: Select an app to see what file types or link types it can open. If you want to change something, select the file or link type, then choose your preferred app. Let’s choose the Google Chrome app.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 11
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 11

When it opens, you can see an option that says Make Google Chrome your default browser, and there is a button to Set Default, click it. It takes a few seconds then a Checkmark appears near it, which means the default app is configured.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 12
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 12

Or under the Set default file types or link types option, choose the options one by one and click the adjacent link. It takes you to select a default app for the files window, where you are able to choose the default app and click the Set default button, and you are done.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 13
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 13

Configure Default Apps by File or Link Type

Another process is choosing the default app by file type; to do so, move to the Default Apps options as shown in Fig. 9 above. Scroll down to the end, where the option to choose defaults by file type is available, click on it for the next step.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 14
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 14

The Choose defaults by file type window appears select the file to change its default and click on the link adjacent to the file, it moves to the default app selection page. Choose the app as you desire, then click on the Set Default button to complete the process.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 15
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 15

you can choose the default app by link type; to do so, move to the Default Apps options as shown in Fig. 9 above. Scroll down to the end, where the option to choose defaults by link type is available, click on it for the next step.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 16
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 16

The Choose defaults by link type window appears select the file to change its default and click on the link adjacent to the file, it moves to the default app selection page. Choose the app as you desire, then click on the Set Default button to complete the process.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 17
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 17

What if the Configuration of Default App is not Working?

If you are unable to change the default apps in Windows 11 by trying the different methods described above, then it is due to the reasons listed below.

  • App corrupted, showing an error or not installed properly.
  • Prevented by any Group Policy Settings
  • The app is not compatible with your device.
  • You are not authorised to make this type of change.

If you are facing any problem regarding this, ensure that your user account has the administrative privilege and that the app you are trying to set as default is compatible with your PC, then you can check the listed solutions to make it work.

  • Check Windows Update
  • Reset All Default Apps
  • Reset the App Using PowerShell
  • Reinstall the App

Check Windows Update

If you are running an older version of Windows, then you experience problems due to incompatibility issues. Windows 11 needs to be updated to the latest version in this case. Go to Settings, then Windows update, and check if any update is there, download and install them.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 18
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 18

Reset All Default Apps

As shown in Fig. 9, move the Default Apps option and scroll down to the last, where you can see there is an option to Reset all default apps, click the Reset button next to it. Repair or reset helps you to fix any common issues with the Windows security app if that helps, you can read the below post to get more insights.

Then a warning message appears:All changes you have made to default apps will be reset.” Click OK; it takes a few seconds to reset all defaults. There is a checkmark that appears to confirm that all settings are reset.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 19
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 19

Reset Windows Default App Using PowerShell

If the problem is within the app that you are trying to change, you can reset the program to solve the problem. To do so, open the PowerShell window with Administrative privilege, type the following command, and press Enter.

Then, a message appears as the Deployment operation progresses….. Initialized and it’s done, your application is reset properly.

Get-AppxPackage packagename -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

NOTE! Replace the packagename with the name of the application you want to reset (as illustrated below).

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 20
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 20

Reinstall App

If the above options are not working, then at last, you can try reinstalling the app that you want to set as default. This eliminates any corruption errors or bugs within the app that prevent you from setting it as the default option.

Open the Control Panel using the Search box on the Taskbar, move to all programs, and find the Program and Features option under it. Double-click on it to open the features option.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 21
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 21

The list of installed applications is listed under Uninstall or Change a program, select the app that shows an error and click on Uninstall to remove it from the device. Then again, properly install the same app that prevents any damage to the app.

How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 - Fig. 22
How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 – Fig. 22

I hope the information on How to Configure Default Apps in Windows 11 is helpful. Please follow us on the HTMD Community and visit our website HTMD Forumif you like our content. Suggest improvements, if any, and we love to know which topic you want us to explore next.

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Author

Alok is a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) graduate. He loves writing on Windows 11 and related technologies. He likes to share his knowledge, quick tips, and tricks with Windows 11 or Windows 10 with the community.

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