How to Set Default Apps in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to set default apps in windows 11

Do you want to change the default apps on your Windows 11 computer? It’s pretty simple! Just head to the Settings app, find the category for Apps, and then select Default apps. From there, you can choose which app opens for different file types or links. You’ll be able to personalize your experience and make sure you’re using your preferred apps.

How to Set Default Apps in Windows 11

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to set default apps in Windows 11. You’ll learn how to select the apps you prefer for various tasks like browsing the web, opening photos, or playing music.

Step 1: Open Settings

First, click on the Start menu, and then select the gear icon to open the Settings app.

Opening the Settings app is your gateway to customizing Windows 11. It houses all the options you need, including the one for setting default apps.

Step 2: Go to Apps

Next, in the Settings app, select the "Apps" category from the left-hand menu.

The "Apps" section is where you can manage all the applications installed on your computer. This includes uninstalling apps, managing optional features, and setting default apps.

Step 3: Select Default Apps

Now, click on "Default apps" from the list of options available within the Apps category.

This section allows you to see and change the default programs for various actions. It’s where you can specify which app you want to use for web browsing, emailing, and more.

Step 4: Choose the App Category

Scroll down and find the app category you want to set a default for (e.g., Web browser, Email, Music player).

Each category represents a different type of file or link. Clicking on a category will show you the installed apps that can handle that type of task.

Step 5: Select Your Preferred App

Click on the current default app, and then choose your preferred app from the list that appears.

This action will immediately set your chosen app as the default for the selected category. Make sure you have the app installed on your computer, or it won’t appear in the list.

After completing these steps, your selected app will be the new default for the chosen category. This means that whenever you open a file or link of that type, it will automatically use your preferred app.

Tips for Setting Default Apps in Windows 11

  • Review Installed Apps: Before setting defaults, make sure the apps you want to use are already installed on your computer.
  • Use the Microsoft Store: If you don’t see the app you want to set as default, check the Microsoft Store to download it.
  • Change Defaults Anytime: You can revisit the Default apps section in Settings at any time to change your preferences.
  • Update Your Apps: Make sure your apps are up to date to ensure compatibility and the best performance.
  • Explore Optional Features: Some apps come with additional features that can enhance your experience, so explore these in the Apps section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set different default apps for different user accounts?

Yes, each user account on a Windows 11 computer can have its own default apps.

How do I revert to the original default apps?

You can click the "Reset" button in the Default apps section to revert to the original defaults.

What if my preferred app isn’t showing up?

Make sure the app is installed on your computer. If it’s a web-based app, you might need to download an offline version.

Can I set a default app for a specific file type?

Yes, scroll down in the Default apps section to see options for setting defaults by file type.

How do I set default apps for specific protocols?

In the Default apps section, you can also set default apps for specific protocols (like HTTP or HTTPS).


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Select Default Apps.
  4. Choose the App Category.
  5. Select Your Preferred App.


Changing the default apps in Windows 11 is a simple yet powerful way to personalize your computer experience. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your favorite apps are the ones that open your files and links by default. This can save you time and enhance your productivity.

Setting default apps is just one of the many ways you can customize Windows 11 to suit your needs. If you’re interested in learning more about other customization options, be sure to explore the various settings available. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who enjoys a tailored computing experience, Windows 11 offers plenty of ways to make your system work better for you.

So, why wait? Dive into your Settings app today and make those changes. You’ll be surprised at how much more efficient and enjoyable your computer use can become with just a few simple tweaks. Happy computing!

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