change the default app for a file type

OS X is known for its intuitive and simple way to achieve common user tasks, but one area where it fails is in setting or changing the default app to open a given file type. New OS X users migrating from Windows may find it especially frustrating given the ease with which this can be done in Windows 7 and so on. How, for example, do you make all your video files open with Quicktime instead of VLC by default or pdf files to open with Acrobat instead of Preview?

Here’s the answer:

1. In the Finder, select any file of the given type you want to change.

2. Using the keyboard, press Cmd-i or right-click on the file to display the contextual menu, and chose ‘Get Info’.

3. About 2/3rd of the way down the tall dialogue box, you should see ‘Open with…’ and a menu button. Click on the menu and choose the app you want.

4. After clicking on your preferred app, click the ‘Change All…’ button. This means that not only this file, but all files with the same extension will open with the app you just chose.

5. Press Cmd-w on the keyboard or click the red ‘Close’ button in the top-left corner to close the dialogue box.


About philastokes

Independent Software Developer, Technical Writer and Researcher at SentinelOne. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in AppleScript, Bash, Python and Swift.

Posted on August 28, 2011, in OS X Lion, Snow Leopard and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on change the default app for a file type.

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