Windows 10 Tip: Setting Default Programs

Windows 10 sets several default programs, which we find people often do not want:

  • Microsoft Edge as the web browser
  • Microsoft Edge as the pdf viewer
  • Microsoft Mail as the email ‘app’

It’s easy to change these – see instructions below.

What can happen is that you change them and then they get reset back. This can be for several reasons:


  • You install a software program that sets defaults for programs it accesses – for example zipping software and image software. So think when you install these software programs before you click OK.
  • Windows resets/removes a file association because an application is no longer compatible – so keep all your applications updated with the latest patches and installs.
  • The program you prefer updates a registry key and then Microsoft marks the key as corrupted – not a lot you can do about this one.


Default Apps
  • Ensure you are logged on as an administrator user
  • Click on the Windows icon
  • Select Settings
  • Select Default Apps
  • Select the app you want to change and then select the program from the list shown that you ant to be default.
Choose an Application
Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • If the program is not shown in the default apps list, scroll down and select Choose default applications by file type. 
  • Find the file type you want (for example .pdf) and change to the application you prefer:

Rebecca Mansbridge
April 2019