|ASSOCIATE PROTOCOLS / FILE TYPES WITH A PROGRAM|
Default Programs is a control panel that is split into four programs. Set Your Default Programs, Associate A File Type Or Protocol With A Program, Change AutoPlay Settings and Set Program Access And Computer Defaults. In this section I will explain ASSOCIATE A FILE TYPE OR PROTOCOL WITH A PROGRAM which allows you to associate/use one or more protocols and/or file types with a program.
To use the Default Programs control panel go to the Control Panel and double click on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS icon. This will bring up the Default Programs window (Fig 1.1). You can also bring up the Default Programs window by clicking on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS Start Menu icon - Click on the START Menu button, ALL PROGRAMS and then on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS icon (not shown/exampled here).
When the Default Programs window appears click on the ASSOCIATE A FILE TYPE OR PROTOCOL WITH A PROGRAM link. The Set Associations window will then appear but first has to compile (load) a list of eligible protocols and file types (Fig 1.2). When the list has been compiled/loaded (Fig 1.3) you can then select a protocol or file type from that list in order to change the default program for that protocol or file type.
With the list of eligible protocols and file types compiled (loaded) scroll through the list to see what default program is associated/used with a particular protocol or file type. When you have gone over the list select the protocol or file type whose default program you want to change. For example. Scroll down the list until you see the .mp3 file type, select it and then click on the CHANGE PROGRAM button (Fig 1.3 above). This will bring up the OPEN WITH program requester (Fig 1.4 below). From there select the default program you wish to associate/use with the selected (.mp3) file type and then click on the OK button to continue. In this example I have selected Windows Media Player as the default program I wish to associate/use with the .mp3 file type.
After clicking on the OK button you will be sent back to the Set Associations window (below). The protocol or file type you selected will then be relisted with its new default program association. In this example the .mp3 file type is now associated with the default program Windows Media Player and no longer with QuickTime Player.
When you have finished associating default programs with protocols and/or file types click on the CLOSE button to return to
the Default Programs window.
If you cannot find the program you are looking for, as your default program, when the OPEN WITH program requester appears (Fig 1.4 above) you can click on the requester's BROWSE button to search for an alternative default program. An example of this was given in the Set Default Programs section (Fig 1.12 onwards) but I will show you a brief example here. This example sets DivX Player as the default program for the .wmv file type.
Before clicking on the BROWSE button you should click on the expand (down-arrow) button (above) to see a listing of Other Programs (below). Scroll the window if necessary to see more of the listed Other Programs. If you see a program you want to use, as a default program, for your selected protocol or file type simply select that program and then click on the OK button as normal. However. If you do not see a program you want to use in the list of Other Programs click on the BROWSE button instead.
If you did not see a program you wanted to use in the list of Other Programs and therefore clicked on the BROWSE button instead you will be presented with the OPEN WITH program requester (below). It is currently set to view the content of the system folder Program Files. This is the folder where most programs are installed to, hence its name Program Files. From here you can navigate the requester to a different folder in order to find an alternative default program for your selected protocol or file type.
If a program has been defaulted before and you use the BROWSE method to re-default that program, after clicking on OPEN
for that selected program (Fig 1.10 above) you will be taken back to the OPEN WITH program requester with that selected
program displayed and selected in the Other Programs section (Fig 1.7 above). This is because Windows 7 knows that
selected program has been defaulted before. In this scenario you would just click on the OK button as shown in Fig 1.7
Do not get confused by the three Default Programs control panels. If a music program is associated with the .mp3 file type for example it does not mean that music program is the default music program for all music file types. It could just be the default music program for the .mp3 file type. And even if you specifically set that music program to be the default music program, with the Set Program Access And Computer Defaults control panel, that music program still might not have all of its associations set due to another program currently owning those associations. Windows Media Player is an example of this. By setting DivX Player to be the default program for the .wmv file type (above) setting Windows Media Player afterwards as the default media program, using the Set Program Access And Computer Defaults control panel, does not make Windows Media Player the default (associated) program for the .wmv file type.
Basically. You should use the Set Program Access And Computer Defaults control panel to set up your default Web Browser, E-Mail Client and Media Player first and then use the Set Default Programs control panel to select further protocols and/or file types for each of those default programs. If you then want another, unlisted, program to be the default (associated) program for one or more protocols and/or file types you should then use the Associate A File Type Or Protocol With A Program control panel.
Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. As stated here by the Microsoft Corporation.