Changing the Default Program for a File

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 7, 2020)

One of the interesting things about Windows is that a file's "type" determines what program is used to open that file. For example, .txt files are, by default, opened with Notepad. If you have Microsoft Office installed, .docx files are opened with Microsoft Word, etc. You may come across an occasion where you want to change what program is used for a particular file type.

Let's say that you have text files with a ".log" extension, and you want to have them open with WordPad. Right-click on a .log file and select "Properties" from the resulting Context menu. Windows displays the Properties dialog box for the file. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Properties dialog box for a .log file.

To designate WordPad as the program that will open .log files, click the Change button. Windows asks "How do you want to open .log files from now on?" Click on the More Apps link. Windows displays a list of apps you can choose from. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Choosing the program that will open .log files.

Scroll down to the bottom of the window to find WordPad listed. (If the program you want to use is not listed, click the "Look for another app on this PC" link to find it.) Now click the "WordPad" item and OK. From now on (unless it's changed), WordPad will be the program used to open all your .log files.

 This tip (11819) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Displaying Details about an Audio File

Audio files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these ...

Discover More

Dropbox

If you have more than one device and want to easily move files between them, Dropbox is the utility of choice. It ...

Discover More

Renaming Files Using the Command Line

The rename command can really be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with Windows Explorer. You can ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Encrypting a File Folder

Want to make the data stored on your system more secure? Think about enabling the built-in encryption capabilities of ...

Discover More

Displaying All the Files in a Folder using Explorer

Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One easy way to do it is by using the Windows ...

Discover More

Displaying the Number of Files or Folders within a Folder

You can easily determine how many files and folders there are within a folder by making quick use of Windows Explorer or ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.