How To Set Or Change Default Apps On Mac [Guide]

When you download, copy, or transfer a file to your Mac, chances are the file you copy has an app associated with it. Your macOS has several apps that are set to default for common file types, be it an HTML webpage, a JPG photo file, or an MP4 video file. But some of you use third-party apps, apps like VLC music player, a photo viewer/editor, or a third-party browser like Google Chrome. In this guide, I will show you how you can set or change default apps for a file on your Mac.


While many users are good with the Safari, some of you use Chrome browser on Mac which is a third-party browser for Mac, but webpage files on the Mac are associated with default Safari app. Similarly, for music files, iTunes, and for photo files, Preview app.

These apps open the common file types by default, these are fine, and you’ll be happy enough using them. But in case you have installed another app that you think it’s better than the default apps, you can change these default apps on your Mac to something different to open the file type.

How To Set Or Change Default Apps On Mac

Before you start with the guide, you still have the option to open the file in other apps temporarily.

  • Right-click on the file you want to open and select Open With where you can choose the appropriate app.

For example, a file with extension .jpg opens in the built-in photo viewer app Preview by default, but at times you want to edit that photo in some photo editing apps such as Photoshop. You don’t often do edits on Photoshop which is why you don’t need to change the default app to Photoshop, you can choose the Open With menu to open the file in other apps temporarily.

However, if you want to set or change the default apps for a particular file, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Right-click on a file that you want to change the app for and select Get Info.
  2. Click Open With if the section isn’t already expanded.
  3. Now click the dropdown and choose an app you want to open the file in by default.
  4. Click Change All & Continue when the Finder asks you if you’re sure.




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