To change which program is used to open files in Windows 11 or 10, type the word DEFAULT in the search bar located on your task bar.
From there, select the DEFAULT PROGRAM option. You will now be taken to the default apps screen.
Choose the program that you would like to change the behavior of. If you want to stop Adobe from opening PDFs, for example, you can select Adobe from the list options as show below.
Select the file extension you would like to change. File extensions are the series of characters found after the period in a file. Common file extensions are .html for web pages and .xlsx for Excel files. In our example, we want to change how PDFs are opened so we will choose the .pdf option.
Once you click the .pdf selection, you will be presented with a list of programs that can render PDF files. Choose the one you want, and all files of that file extension will open in the program going forward. If you don't have an active Adobe subscription, you may want to change the default program to your favorite browser.
Certain web browsers will attempt to open PDF files within the browser itself. If you don't want the browser to do that, you can change how it handles PDFs in the settings section. In Chrome, select the three vertical dots located in the right corner of the browser.
Type PDF in the search bar.
Select Site Settings.
Choose the Download PDFs open to prevent Chrome from attempting to render PDFs within the browser.
In most cases, the default programs work fine for the file types they are associated with. However, there are certain use cases where the default program may not be the best for your workflow.
If you have an Excel file that contains leading 0s and you save that file as a CSV, the 0s will be remain....until you close the file. Once that file is closed and you open it again, all your leading 0s will be gone!
You can prevent this by change the default program to open .csv files to either Notepad++ or Notepad. Both programs are free and will preserve the leading 0s in your file.
Posted by: Matt Irving on 04/10/2022
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