You can also use these tricks to change the default media player
By default, when I double-click on a picture in Windows, Windows Photo Viewer opens the image! That’s nice, but I would rather it open with a different photo viewing program, such as Photoshop, GIMP, etc.
If this problem annoys you also, there is a simple way to change the default photo viewing program in Windows to the application of your choice! Actually, there are two ways to go about it.
Also, you can configure it so that one image type opens with one application and another image type opens with a different program. So you could have JPG images open with Photoshop and GIF images open with Photo Viewer, for example.
Note that in addition to changing the default picture viewer, you can follow the same steps below to change the default media player, default web browser, etc. For example, for the default media player, you would select your media player from the list, i.e. VLC Media Player, and then adjust the settings for it.
Adjust Default Programs
If you’re still running Windows XP, then make sure to read my separate post on changing the default program to open a file with since the XP procedure is different.
In Windows 7 and higher, you can change which file types a program opens or you can change which program is used when opening a specific file type. Click on the Control Panel and then click on Default Programs while under the icons view.
Here you will see the two options I mentioned above: Set your default programs and Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
If you click on the first link, you’ll get a list of the different programs installed on your computer. Select the program and Windows will tell you how many defaults this programs is set to open.
You can then click on Set this program as default to have it open all the default file types or you can click Choose defaults for this program to choose specific file types.
In the example above, Internet Explorer is set to open GIF images and Microsoft Office 2010 is set to open JPG files. All other formats are set to open with Windows Photo Viewer. If you want to use a different program to open pictures, for example, select that program from the list and then choose Set this program as default.
Adjust via Open With
Going back and clicking on Adjust a file type or protocol with a program will allow you to browse through the hundreds of file types stored on the computer and then change the default program for opening that type of file.
When you click Change Program, you’ll get a list of Recommended Programs and Other Programs, along with an option to Browse to a program that is not currently listed.
The advantage to this method as opposed to the first option is that here you can choose any program you like to open a file. In the first method, only programs that have registered with Windows will show up in that list and there is no way to manually add a missing program.
You can also get to this same dialog by right-clicking on the any file in Explorer, clicking on Open With and then clicking on Choose default program.
Windows 8, 10 Default Programs
In Windows 8 and Windows 10, things are slightly different because now you have desktop apps and you have Windows Store apps. By default, all Windows 8/10 PCs will have Windows Photo Viewer and the Photos app installed. The former is a desktop app and will load there and the latter is a Windows Store app and will load as an app.
You can follow the same procedures as for Windows 7, but the only difference is that you will see the Windows Store apps listed as options too. As mentioned earlier, you can change other defaults like the default media player to another program or app of your choice rather than the Video or Movies & TV app in Windows 8 and Windows 10.
Hopefully, you can now double-click on an image and expect the correct program to open. You do want to be careful changing these settings because there is no way to simply reset all default programs back to their original values. I’m not sure why this option doesn’t exist, because it should, but it’s just not there.
The only real way to reset default programs is to either download a registry file that will manually change each value or create a new user profile. These settings are stored on a per user basis, so creating a new user account will start you from scratch. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Enjoy!