How to open a file using a different program than the default one in Windows

  • September 30, 2011
  • Read 18,881 times
 

When you double-click on a file in Windows, it will automatically open a default program that is configured to manage these types of files. It is common, though, want or need to use a different program to open a particular type of file. This tutorial will explain how to open a file using a different program than the default one.

First, you should navigate to the file that you wish to open. Once you have found this file, right-click on it to bring up the file's menu as seen below.

 

File menu

 

At the above menu, please select the Open with menu option. You will then be presented with a screen similar to the one below that shows the available programs that you can open the file with.

 

Open With dialog

 

To open the file using a different program than the default one, simply select the available program that is listed and the file will open with that program instead.

If the program that you wish to use is not listed automatically, simply click on the Choose default program... menu option as shown in the image above. You will then be presented with a screen where further program recommendations are given. If you find that you still do not see the program you wish to use after browsing through the list, please click on the Browse button.

You will now be presented with a window where you can browse to the executable that you wish to use to open these types of files. Once you have found the executable, select it by left-clicking on it once so it becomes highlighted and then click on the Open button. You will now see the program you browsed to selected and highlighted in Open With screen.

With the new program that you wish to use selected, make sure the checkbox labeled Always use the selected program to open this kind of file checkbox is not checked as you do not want to make this new program the default one for this file type. When you are done, press the OK button. The file should now have been opened using the program you selected and these types of programs will now automatically be opened by this program.

This new program will now be added to the Open With list when you right-click on this file type in the future as shown in the image below.

 

New program added to the Open With list

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