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Windows 8.1 tips and tricks: Choosing the default apps for specific file types or tasks

Windows 8.1 default apps

As we approach the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October 17th for Windows 8 users, we’re going to go over some simple tips and tricks for the operating system update until the day its released. In today’s tips and tricks feature, we will talk about setting the default apps for specific file types.

Like most power users, we install more than one internet browser or more than one media player. For example, in my case as a web developer, I have Google Chrome and Firefox installed alongside Internet Explorer. However, I prefer to use Google Chrome as my primary internet browser. Thanks to Windows 8.1, I can now easily set the default web browser, or media player, or email app via the new metro/modern PC Settings.

Simply open up the Charms bar (or Win key + C) and select Settings. Then hit Change PC Settings. Click Search and Apps. Under the Defaults category, you can now easily select which app you want to set as the default app for that file type or task. I can select Media Player Classic as the default video player, instead of Windows Media Player, for example.

There is also an option for users to select the default action for file types. For example, you can specify what app opens up a .7z file or .3gp file. With this minor adjustment to Windows 8.1, you can now make these changes directly from the new PC Settings app. You no longer need to open up the old Control Panel to make these changes.

Windows 8.1 is set for release on October 17th and is a free upgrade for Windows 8 users.

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