22 Comments to How to Set Your Default Programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

  1. KIRK says:

    Hi; I am trying to figure out how to get other programs to show up in the list of programs shown above. You write “As you might notice, these are only some of the installed programs on your computer and you cannot add others to this list.” Are you sure about this? Why do some programs show up and not others. My computer shows POWER DVD but not Nero, it shows MS Paint but not Corel Photo or Adobe Photoshop. It shows itunes but not Realplayer. What the heck is going on here?!?


    1. Ciprian says:

      In order for an application to be on the list it needs to register itself in the right way so that Windows 7 shows it there. If it doesn’t, then just use the instructions from this tutorial:

      How to Associate a File Type or Protocol to a Program.

      And I know it’s frustrating. It’s just a matter of Microsoft designing things in a way which is ignored by software developers. Most of them don’t care if their apps are shown in the Default Programs list because you can associate them by using the tutorial I recommended you above.

  2. Mike Christy says:

    I keep using Windows DVD Maker trying to burn movies on my computer to DVD. Unforturnately, you don’t seem to have any audio controls for doing this because some of my DVD’s (When played on my TV) have very low voice sound and VERY LOUD sound effects and music. So much so that I have to keep playing with the remote to higher it so I can hear the talking and lowering it whenever dramatic music is played or a blast or loud noise happens. Can this be fixed at all???? You have an equalizer that comes only with the windows Media Player, but only for listening to movies on the computer. Otherwise it doesn’t work any other way. Any suggestions?

  3. Nicola says:

    Hi, I am trying to set my default email program to Microsoft Outlook rather than the “Use my current email” option. Every time i change it and save and close the Default screen, it reverts back to the “Use my current email” option. How can i make this remain on Microsoft Outlook please?

  4. johnny says:

    When I go to the set default program, I want a default mail…got no choices in the list for mail.

  5. Lowe says:

    Well, I haven’t been able to read all this because there’s a stupid block at the bottom that I can’t get rid of. I guess this site would rather I go to the top of the page than be allowed to read it all. Growl.

    1. Marte Brengle says:

      Could you give us a little more information about the “stupid block”? What does it look like? Is there a message displayed? And what browser you are using? It would help us to figure out what’s causing the problem.

  6. GK says:

    From Windows 95 to Windows 7, programmatic file associations were allowed. In Windows 8, Microsoft has removed this feature forcing everyone to use Default Programs.

  7. Becky says:

    I tried to make iTunes default music player but now FAcebook and all other apps are scrunched up on display on windows 8.1 screen. Is this related to the change I made? I might have made it default for all. How do I change back????? Help please!

    1. Codrut Neagu says:

      I don’t see how these could be related. To change the associations back, follow the steps in this tutorial for each type of file, or use the system restore feature.

  8. TerNer says:

    I wanted to email photo while in MICROSOFT PAINT. When I went to send it brought up a screen saying associate default. Basically I want PAINT to send images using my outlook email program.

    1. Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      In PAINT, go to “File -> Send in email”. Outlook should be set as the default email program and this will work.

  9. Nancy Nelson says:

    On my Win8 Paint program the default setting for File Type is PNG (a new one for me.) I usually want to save files as 24-bit Bitmaps. Is there a way change the default to BMP so I won’t have to remember to change it every time?

  10. keval sompura says:

    what to do ??
    whenever i choose “Browse” button and after selecting the preferred extension “.skp” from program files but its still not functioning.
    can you help me out

  11. Thomas Bouche says:

    I have Windows 7 Home Premium and using Nikon ViewNX. I have downloaded pics and can view them. However, I get the following error message when trying to email pics from the Nikon ViewNX program. There is no email program associated to perform the requested action. Please install an email program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel. I’ve tried various options of this but still get the same error. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  12. Michael says:

    i find after doing this that on my kindle and I assume other external devices it buy default “preview ” images instead of opening them in the program I want. how can I change this

  13. jackmeat says:

    @lowe means the stupid block to go back to the top of the page (really helpful if you are unsure how to scroll up and down) beyond that, how about what can be done to do the opposite of this. i want my computer to ALWAYS prompt me to pick a program for a certain file association in windows 8.1.

  14. reva12 says:


    Noticed something on my Windows 7 64-bit HP:

    Windows Photo Viewer lets me Preview the .ico files (either by double clicking or by explicitly selecting the option on right click); but it does not let me open them using “Open with”–it just says “Loading…” and nothing happens. But it is one of the “Open with” choices in the applications listed; and it is also checked as “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” when I go through “Choose default program…”

    (Now that I think about it, I do not see the difference between Preview and Open.)

    Any insight into this behavior would be appreciated.


  15. Howard says:

    Here’s where I keep failing with this, and your screenshot sort of confirms for me that the problem isn’t just mine. When I open the “Set your default programs” window, Firefox is the first program listed for me. I have plenty of programs that come before Firefox alphabetically, yet they don’t display. Same seems to be true in your screenshot, where you are scrolled to the top yet the first item shown is Google Chrome. What is the fix for THAT?!?!

  16. Michael says:

    What is the purpose of this page if not to get questions answered? I have the same question as Nicola. At present, when I click a link that should bring up an email page, I just get an error that says no email is associated, go to defaults to fix that.

    1. Codrut Neagu says:

      This seems to be a known problem of Outlook. You could try this: “Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request” error message when you send e-mail from third-party program in Outlook.

  17. John Gaze says:

    Windows 10 is not mentioned so the above information is of no use

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