Changing the Default Program for a File

Written 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

Moving and Resizing Windows

The ability to work on multiple things simultaneously is a hallmark of Windows. If you have many windows up at once, ...

Discover More

Everything

If you want to be able to find any file on your hard disk in just seconds, Everything is a utility you'll find ...

Discover More

Moving Files Using the Command Line

The MOVE command can be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with File Explorer. You can move hundreds ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

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

How to Change Drive Letters

Windows is quite configurable. It even allows you to change the drive letters associated with your disk drives. Although ...

Discover More

Understanding ZIP Folders

Need to move a lot of information to someone else? The answer may be to store that information in a ZIP folder. Here's ...

Discover More
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 8 + 1?

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


Newest Tips