Enabling or disabling a program set as the default program

There are different software programs that perform the same function, such as playing a sound file, viewing pictures, browsing the Internet, etc. Often these programs will fight with each other for rights to open the associated files on your computer. When this occurs, you may notice that a different media player now plays your music, for example.

Often, this issue occurs after a new program is installed that utilizes the same files as another, or when a program is updated. This issue can often be avoided if the new program has options that allow the user to set it as the default program or to leave the files associated with the old one.

If you have already installed a program and want to have it set as the default program, try closing and re-opening the program. Often it will ask if you want to set it as the default program. Sometimes a program may even do this without prompting you.

Below is also a list of how to manually set some of the more commonly used programs as the default application.

Apple QuickTime
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Microsoft Windows Media Player
Mozilla Firefox
RealPlayer
Winamp
Other programs

Apple QuickTime

Follow the steps below to associate audio, video, and other media files within Apple QuickTime.

  1. Open Apple QuickTime by clicking Start > Programs > QuickTime, and then clicking on QuickTime Player. If QuickTime is not found, it is not installed on your computer. See the QuickTime definition for a link of where to download and install this program.
  2. Once open, click Edit > Preferences, and then click QuickTime Preferences.
  3. Click the down arrow next to About QuickTime, select File type Association, and click the File types button or tab.
  4. Once in the File Association Settings window, check or uncheck each of the file associations you want associated with QuickTime.

Note: If you have other media players installed you may need to enable or disable their association with the file type you enabled or disabled in Apple QuickTime.

Internet ExplorerMicrosoft Internet Explorer

If you have another browser installed and want to have Microsoft Internet Explorer check to make sure it is set as the default browser each time you open it, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click Tools > Internet Options, and click the Programs tab
  3. Check the "Tell me if Internet Explorer is not the default web browser" option. If you do not want Internet Explorer as the default browser, uncheck this option. You can also click the Make default button to set Internet Explorer as the default Internet browser immediately.

Note: If you have another Internet browser installed, you may need to disable their default browser options. Otherwise the other browser will fight with Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Windows Media Player

Microsoft's Media Player is a program that associates the files it is capable of opening. If there is a certain file extension that you do not want to have associated with Windows Media Player, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Windows Media Player by clicking Start > Programs, and then clicking Windows Media Player. In older versions of Windows, it may be found under Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment
  2. Once open, click Tools and then Options. If you don't see the top menu, click the down arrow in the top right corner of the window.
  3. In the Options window, click the File types tab.
  4. Check or uncheck each of the boxes you want associated with Windows Media Player.

For example, if you do not want to use the Windows Media Player for your MP3 files, uncheck MP3 audio file (mp3).

Note: If you have other media players installed, you may need to enable or disable their association with the file type you enabled or disabled in Windows Media Player.

Mozilla Firefox

FirefoxIf you have installed Mozilla Firefox and want it to be the default browser, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. Click the Open menu button Firefox options in the upper right-hand corner and select Options
  3. In the Advanced section, General tab, check the box for "Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup". If you do not want Firefox to check if it is the default browser, uncheck this option. You can also click the Make Firefox the default browser button to set Firefox as your default Internet browser immediately.

Note: If you have another Internet browser installed, you may need to disable their default browser options. Otherwise the other browser will fight with Mozilla Firefox.

RealPlayer

RealPlayer is a media player that associates itself with audio and video files that it is capable of opening. If there are any file types you do or do not want to be associated with RealPlayer, follow the steps below.

  1. Open RealPlayer by clicking Start > Programs, and selecting RealPlayer. If RealPlayer is not installed, see the RealPlayer page for a link to the download and additional information.
  2. Click Tools and then Preferences
  3. In the Preferences window, click the + next to Content and select Media types.
  4. Select the "Manually configure media types for RealPlayer" and click the Select button.
  5. Check or uncheck the programs you want associated with RealPlayer.

Winamp

Winamp is a media player that associates itself with audio and video files that it is capable of opening. If there is a certain file extension you do or do not want to have associated with Winamp, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Winamp by clicking Start > Programs > Winamp, and then clicking Winamp. If Winamp is not found, it is not installed on your computer. See the Winamp page for a link to the download.
  2. Click Options and then Preferences
  3. Under File types, highlight the programs you want to be associated with Winamp. If you do not want Winamp to be associated with a particular file, un-highlight each file type.

Note: If you have other media players installed, you may need to enable or disable their association with the file type you enabled or disabled in Winamp.

Other programs

If the program you want to enable or disable as the default program is not listed above, you can usually locate the option for this feature under its Tools, Setup, or Options menu. If you want to disable the default program setting for a program you no longer use, you can also uninstall the program.

Additional information