When you get a new computer running Windows 11, one of the first things you'll want to do is to set your default applications. These settings control which of your applications and programs will open what kinds of files.

This may not sound like a big deal at first, but users who upgrade to Windows 11 often find that they don't like the default web browser, email application, PDF viewer, or video player that Microsoft has chosen for them. Watch the video below to see how you can take control over what applications open files on your PC.

Manage Your Default Applications

To manage your Default Applications, open the Settings App (Win + i is the keyboard shortcut), then navigate to Apps -> Default Apps. 

You can also just open the Start menu, then type 'Default Apps', and hit Enter:

Either way, you'll be greeted with the Default Apps preference pane. 

Change Settings for an App

To change an app's defaults, select it from the list or search for it.

If, for example, you want to make Google Chrome your default browser, select Google Chrome from the list...

...then set it as your default browser at the top of the screen:

You can also look at all the file types listed below and manually set the default app for each file type:

Change Settings for A File Type

If you'd rather change the default app for a specific file type, navigate to Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps -> Choose defaults by file type.

Select your file type from the LONG list (I recommend using the search box), click on the app that's assigned to that particular file type...

...and then you'll get a dialog box where you can change the app that's assigned to open that file type: