Monday, May 9, 2011

Tech Tip: Choosing a Default Program to Open Files on Your Computer

Sometimes when you attempt to open a document, a picture or a hyperlink, your computer may access a non-preferred program.  For example, when opening a picture your computer may open with an advanced photo editing tool (which takes a long time to load) versus a picture viewer which would match the purpose of simply viewing the picture.  Or you click on a link and nothing happens because the browser that is trying to open the link does not know what to do with the link.  Fortunately there is an easy solution.

The following information will help you change the default program or the program that is set up to open the file type when you double click on it. 
Instructions for Windows
Right click on the file that you wish to open using a different program.  If you are using Windows 98 or older you will need to hold down the shift key and right click.  In the window that appears go down to “Open With” and then choose “Choose Default Program.” A new window will appear with a list of Programs to choose from. Click on the application you would like this file to open with when you double click. If you would like all files like this to open with the program you selected then make sure to check the checkbox marked “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.” Now click OK and you’re all done!
Instruction for Mac
Right click on the file you wish to open using a different program.  Choose “Get Info” from the menu. In the window that appears, click on the button right below the words “Open with” to see a selection of programs that can open that file. Select the program you want. If you would like all files like this to open with the program you selected then click the button marked “Change All.” Now close the window and you are all done!

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