How to set a default app on Mac

Tired of seeing your PDFs opening with Preview or your videos opening with QuickTime on macOS? We’ll show you how to set a default app on your Mac.

Your Mac opens many files with Preview (text files, images, PDFs…) and other files with applications preselected by Apple. Here’s how to change default apps on macOS.

How do I set an app as the default app?

Identify a file for which you want to change the default application.

  • Make a right click or one click + Control key on the file.
  • In the drop-down menu that appears select Read the information.

How to set a default app on Mac

  • A window opens with all the information related to the file.
  • Identify the line Open with and its drop-down menu just below.
  • Click on the latter, the default application appears first. Below are listed other apps capable of opening the file. Choose the application you want (Acrobat Reader in our example). If it doesn’t appear, you must have forgotten to install it. Download it from the Mac App Store and repeat the procedure from the beginning.
  • Once done, click on the box Edit All to have all such files open with the application of your choice.

You will need to repeat this procedure for each type of file that you want to associate with applications other than the default macOS ones.

To go further, also learn how to manage the applications that launch at startup on macOS or to customize the control center of the interface.


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