- MAXIMUMpcguides – Windows Vista tips, tricks, help, and how-to guides - http://maximumpcguides.com/windows-vista -

Program Access and Defaults

This guide shows you how to change the default programs to use when accessing certain files or services. A few examples of this would be changing from Internet Explorer to Firefox as your default internet browser or changing from Windows Media Player to Winamp as your default media program.

Program Access and Defaults

Click Start, All Programs, and click Set Program Access and Defaults (usually located at the very top of your screen).

[1]

The screen shot shown above is where you can set which programs you want to handle certain types of files and services. There are four general settings.

Computer Manufacturer: Select Computer Manufacturer to set your computers settings on which programs to use on specific files and services set by the manufacturer of your computer.

Microsoft Windows: Select Microsoft Windows to set your computers settings on which programs to use on specific files and services set by Microsoft.

Non-Microsoft: Select Non-Microsoft to set your computers settings on which programs to use on specific files based on if it is a Non-Microsoft program.

Custom: Select Custom to set your computers settings on which programs to use on specific files based on your manual configuration.

The first three choices are simple. You just select them, click OK, and you’re done. The last choice is where you can have a little more control of what programs you want to use to run certain files and services.

[2]

When you click Custom your window will look similar to the one shown above.

Simply click the application you want to use for the type of file or service shown. When you’re finished, click OK.

Open With

A similar problem I see people having is when they open a file it is opened using the wrong or an unwanted application. There is a simple way of fixing this.

In this example I’m going to use an image file. Let’s say the image file is opening in the fax viewer of Microsoft Office or another program I don’t want it to open in. Right-click the image file and point at Open With and select Choose Program.

[3]

Select the program you want to open that type of file (in this case the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer would be the program). If you want the program you just selected to always be used when opening this type of file make sure you check the box next to Always use the selected program to open this type of file. Click OK when you are finished.