How to set new defaults for Windows 10

What you need: Windows 10 Time required: 30 minutes

If you're feeling uninspired by the default programmes Windows 10 insists you use, such as Groove Music for playing music, Edge as the default web browser, or Photos for viewing photos, you can easily change these in just a few steps.

Our guide to setting up default applications on your Windows 10 machine will also offer step-by-step instructions for setting a default printer or scanner so you don't have to figure it out yourself, as well as how to change the default search engine Edge uses when opening.

Step 1

The first stage of changing your default applications is making sure you've installed the third-party programs you want to set as your defaults on your computer. Now, you'll need to head to the Start Menu, head to Settings > System and then choose Default Apps.

Here, you can see all of the programs you've set as your defaults. If you want to use those that Microsoft likes you to use as the standard, click the Reset button at the bottom to reset all of them.

Step 2

Now, you can begin changing each to your program of choice. Just select the app you want to replace (for example, music player) and then you'll see a list of applications you can switch to as a default. Choose the one you want to use and hey presto! That should do the trick. However, if the app you want to use isn't listed, head to step 6 to find out how to replace those not listed.

Step 3

Your default Email app is set to Mail. If you want to change this to Outlook, then ensure you've installed Office on your PC. To install the latest version, go to www.office.com/myaccount and log in with your Microsoft account. Next, click the Install button, run the downloaded setup file and wait for it to finish. This installs Office 365, which you can use for free for one month on up to five devices (it costs 7.99 per month or 79.99 per year, thereafter). After installing, open Outlook and log into your account. Now return to the Default apps' settings and set your default Mail app to Outlook.

Step 4

You can set Gmail as your default email. To do this, open Chrome (www.snipca.com/19773), go to www.gmail.com and log in to your account. Next, click the Protocol Handler icon (at the right of your browser bar). If you don't see this icon, skip to the next step. Now select Allow, then click Finished. Click OK if you see a pop-up message on your screen. Now return to the Default apps' section, click your default email app (Mail) and select Google Chrome.

Step 5

After doing that, open Chrome again, click the three lines at the top right, Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click +Show advanced settings'. In the Privacy section, click the Content settings' button. Now scroll to the Handlers section and click the Manage handlers' button. Click the mailto' dropdown menu, select mail.google.com', then click Finished twice. From now on, whenever you click an email address link, it'll open within Gmail in Chrome, ready for you to write your email.

Turn the page for even more guidance

Featured Resources

Four cyber security essentials that your board of directors wants to know

The insights to help you deliver what they need

Download now

Data: A resource much too valuable to leave unprotected

Protect your data to protect your company

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

Most Popular

46 million Animal Jam accounts leaked after comms software breach
Security

46 million Animal Jam accounts leaked after comms software breach

13 Nov 2020
macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks
operating systems

macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks

16 Nov 2020
Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate
Mobile Phones

Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate

26 Nov 2020