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Set Default Programs in Windows 7/10

Every file on your computer has a program that opens it. If the software is not installed, your system will notify you and ask you for instructions on what software you should try to use to open it. Windows, macOS, and other platforms map certain file extensions to programs by default. If there is no software, the files will not open.

This is why Microsoft Word opens when you try to open a DOCX file if you have Microsoft Office installed. If you prefer to open this file in another program instead, such as LibreOffice, you need to change the default program in Windows 10 or macOS for that file type.

How to change the default program in Windows 10

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is pretty easy, and there are several ways to do it.

Some types of software, such as web browsers, are usually not used to open files on your computer, making it difficult to use the above method to change the default program. You can also find a way to change multiple file types at the same time, which you can do, for example, if you change the default media player on your PC.

In both cases, you will need to change the default program for your file or web protocol in the Windows settings menu instead.

How to change the default program in macOS

If you want to change the default program on Mac, you will need the file in the file format you want to open.

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Replacing old software on Windows and macOS

If you want to change the default program in Windows 10 or macOS, you will need installed replacement software. You can replace outdated paid software with newer, more modern open source software alternatives that cost you nothing to install or use.

Replacing older software with macOS is a little more difficult, as you may find that there are simply no equivalents to the software you enjoy using, especially if you are moving from Windows. If you are having problems, you may need to allow installation of unverified applications, but make sure you only install software from sources you trust.

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