How to Change a File Type’s Default App in MacOS
Do you want to change the default application that your Mac uses to open a specific file type or file format? You’ll be excited to know that there are multiple ways to go about this and it’s pretty easy to change the default app for various file types on your system.
More often than not, you may have multiple software on your Mac that does the same thing. For example, you may have both Adobe Acrobat and PDF Element installed on your system that can be used for opening, reading, and editing PDF files. In such cases, you may want to set a preferred reader for opening all PDF files stored on your machine. By default, both image files and PDF files on macOS use the Preview app when you click on it.
If you want complete control over what apps are used when you click on a specific file stored on your Mac, then continue reading to learn how you can change a file type’s default app on macOS.
How to Change a File Type’s Default App in macOS
Whether you’re using a MacBook, iMac, or Mac Mini, you can make use of the following steps to change the default app for a specific file format on your machine. The steps are identical for all recent versions of macOS, so let’s get started:
- First, launch the Finder app on your Mac.
- Next, browse for the file that you want to change the default app for and right-click or Control-click on it. Hover the cursor over “Open With” from the context menu to continue.
- Now, you’ll notice that macOS suggests some apps that can be used to open the file. Click on “Other”.
- This will open a new window on your screen. Here, select the application that you want to use for opening the file and check the box next to “Always Open With” as shown below. If you don’t find this option, tap on “Options” to bring it up.
- That’s one way to change the default app. Alternatively, you can Control-click or right-click on the file and select “Get Info” from the context menu.
- Once the Get Info opens up with the file information, you’ll find the option to change the default app for that specific file. Once you select a different app, make sure to click on “Change All”. This will change the default app for all files using the same format.
There you go. Now you’ve learned two different ways to change the default app that’s used for launching a specific file type on your Mac.
From now on, whenever you click on this specific file type, the app you selected using the contextual menu will be used to open the file. You can follow these steps to change the default app that’s used to launch video files, image files, PDF files, ZIP files, and so on.
This could also come in handy if a newly installed app on your Mac has taken control of launching a specific file type and you’re looking to change it back to the default settings. For example, when you install VLC Player on your Mac, it may assume control over your video files and use it to launch videos. But, if QuickTime is what you prefer, you can change it by making use of this procedure.
If you have multiple user accounts on your Mac, note that this change only applies to the current user account. The default app settings for other accounts will remain unaffected unless you manually log in to those accounts and repeat these steps.
Hopefully, you were able to use your favorite apps to launch various file types stored on your macOS machine. Which of these two methods did you use to change the default app? Do share your experiences and feel free to drop your valuable opinions in the comments section down below.
I’ve done this for a long time. The problem is it changes back to the default app quite often and has to be redone frequently. That is highly annoying. It’s also irritating to repeat the process for every single video type. I really wish there was a way to replace Quicktime with VLC in a system setting. Or an app or CLI to change the default that I could include in my login script.