FIX: Files Open in the Wrong Program on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7

By: Marian Cularea
3 minute read
fix files open in wrong program windows 10

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When opening files with the wrong program in Windows 10, 8, this most likely prevent you from running that program correctly or it will not run at all. So, if you want to watch a movie, listen to music or open a Word document for work, you need to set the right program to open the respective files.

Opening your files in a wrong program in Windows 10, 8 is a common mistake but luckily Windows 10, Windows 8 come with a very easy app to set the default program for a specific file that you want to open. This way, every time you open a movie, for example, your PC will choose the program you set as default for movie type files.

Files open in the wrong program on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

  1. Use the context menu
  2. Use the Settings page

1. Set a default program for opening files using the context menu

On Windows 8, 8.1:

  1. Click (right click) on the file you want to open.
  2. Click (left click) in the context menu on the option that says “Open With”
  3. Click (left click) in the “Open With” menu that you opened on “Choose Default program”.
  4. A Window with the first line saying “How do you want to open this file?” will pop up.
  5. Be sure you have checked the box next to “Use this app for all *** files (“***” being the extension you have on the file. Example: “.txt” or “.avi” depending on the type of file you want to open).
  6. If you don’t have the program you want to run your file in that list click(left click) on “More options” situated in the lower side of the window.
  7. In the “More options” window you will have a bigger list of your Windows 8 operating system PC or laptop programs to choose the correct program you want to run your files with.
  8. If you don’t have your desired program in the “More options” list then you will have to click(left click) on:
    “Look for an App in the store” which will lead you to the App store where you can download your desired program
    Or: “Look for another App on this PC” which will open your explorer to search your Windows 8 system for the desired program if you have already installed it.

Set default program for opening files on Windows 10:

The steps to follow on Windows 10 are quite similar. All you need to do is right-click on the file you want to open and select ‘Choose another app‘. This will open a new window where you can set the default program to use in order to open the respective type of file. Simply check the option ‘Always use this app to them files‘.

default program open files windows 10


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

2. Use the Settings page

You can also set the default apps for opening specific files and folders from the Settings page.

  1. So, go to Settings and select Apps and then click on ‘Default Apps’, as shown in the screenshot below.default apps windows 10
  2. Now, click on the type of content that you want to open.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear on the screen, allowing you to select the default program to use.

choose default app windows 10

There you have it, this is how you change the default program for opening files on Windows 10. Follow the instructions listed above to set the correct program for the files you want to open.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy. The guide has been updated to reflect the changes and improvements available in Windows 10.

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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