How to force Windows 10 to set apps as default

Windows 10 bundles a number of default apps, including Microsoft Edge, Groove Music, and Movies & TV as your default web browser, music, and video player — just to name a few. Although, if you prefer to have other apps as default, you can use the Settings app, sometimes the new configuration won't apply, or you may even get an error that won't let you set your own default programs.

Indeed, it's something that Microsoft has to spend more time trying to fix, but there is a workaround to this problem. You can simply use Control Panel to set your apps as default.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the easy steps to set default apps using Control Panel when the Settings app fails to apply your configurations.

How to set default apps on Windows 10 using Control Panel

Assuming that you have already tried to set a particular app as default, but the Settings app on Windows 10 isn't applying the changes or an error appears, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Default apps.
  4. Click on Set defaults by app.

  1. Control Panel will open on Set Default Programs.
  2. On the left, select the app you want to set as default.
  3. On the right, click Set this program as default to have the app control by default all the file formats the app was designed to support.

  1. Click OK.
  2. Close Control Panel to complete the task.

If you only want to set an app a default for certain file types, you can follow the same steps, but on step 7 select the Choose defaults for this program, and the extension your app should handle.

How you ever encounter a problem trying to set an app as default on Windows 10? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.