How to change the default app for a file type in macOS

Every document or file that you save on your Mac is associated with a specific application in such a way that, when you try to open it, you always do it with that app, and not with another, when you double-click on the icon of that file in the Finder. However, it is possible to change the default app that opens a file. For example, for presentations made with PowerPoint always open with Keynote. Let’s see how to do it.

Change the default app with which you open a file

Sometimes, you may want an app to be responsible for opening certain types of files by default. For example, use VLC to open all .avi files instead of QuickTime, which will not play them. Or as I said before, open all the presentations you receive or download in Keynote, and forget Power Point.

  • In the Finder window, or on the desktop, right-click on the file whose default startup application you want to change.
  • From the context menu, select Open with → Other…
  • A new window will appear for you to select an app with which to open the selected file. In our example, we are going to select Keynote, even though, as you see in the above image, it already appears in the conceptual menu because I recently used it precisely for this type of file.
  • Search and select the app you want to use (Keynote, in this case).
  • Check the “Always open with this application” box.
  • Press “Open.”

The selected file will open with the app that you have indicated but, most importantly, it is that whenever you want to open that type of macOS files it will do it by default with the application that you just indicated.

How to set your default web browser on Mac

  1. Launch System Preferences from the dock, Finder, or by clicking the  button.
  2. Click General at the top left of the window.
  3. Click the drop-down next to Default web browser.
  4. Click the web browser you’d like to use as the default.

How to set your default email reader on Mac

Mail is likely the default email app on your Mac, but just in case you have others downloaded, you can set the default reader. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Mail from your dock or the Finder.
  2. Click Mail in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. Click the drop-down next to Default Mail Reader.
  5. Click the app you’d like to set as the default.

Questions?

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