Choose Default Programs

One of the great strengths of the Windows platform is the staggering number of programs from which you can choose . Many of those options are designed to handle the same func-

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tions as programs included with Windows 7 . For example, you might prefer Mozilla Firefox to Internet Explorer for daily web browsing, and fanatic iPod or iPhone owners will almost certainly prefer iTunes to Windows Media Player. If you prefer a third-party program (including programs in the Windows Live family) to one of those included by default with Windows 7, use the Default Programs dialog box to make your preference official.

To open Default Programs, click its link on the Start menu. As Figure 2-13 shows, you can adjust settings for each program that appears in this dialog box, setting the program to use all available defaults or adjusting them individually.

Figure 2-13 Use the top option to make this program the default for all file types it can handle; the bottom option allows you to adjust defaults individually.

Even if you've already used a function within your preferred program to set it as the default, it's worth a visit to this dialog box to see if another program has managed to hang on to the right to open one or more file types by default.

For a more detailed discussion of how programs and file types work together, see "Setting Default Programs, File Type Associations, and AutoPlay Options" on page 180 .

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