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Windows 7 - How to Configure Default Programs

It has always been a common annoyance in all versions of Windows. You install a program, such as a new media player, and whenever you try to open one of your music or video files, it opens with the new program. If you want to keep things as they were, you'll need to reconfigure the default programs. Fortunately, Windows 7 has made this much easier and quicker than in previous editions of Windows. The following guide will tell you how to manage default programs and AutoPlay settings in just a matter of minutes.

1 – Setting Your Default Programs
Open your start menu and click on "Default Programs" in the right-hand side. The relevant section of the Control Panel will appear. The simplest way to set your default programs is by clicking on the "Set your default programs" link at the top of the page. This can be limited, however, since many programs don't appear in this list. If you see the program that you want to use, simply select it and click on "Set this program as default" in the bottom-right. Click "OK" to save you changes and go back to the previous page.
Click on the next option called "Associate a file type of protocol with a program." This provides some more advanced options. Here you can browse through the list of file extensions and protocols and associate a particular program with each one. If you want your MP3 files to open with Winamp, for example, scroll down to "MP3" in the list. Double-click on it and choose the default program which you want files of this type to open with. If you can't see your preferred program in the list of Recommended Programs, click the "Browse" button to find it.
Note that file extensions which don't have any program assigned to them won't appear in the list. If this is the case, you'll have to try to open the file in question by double-clicking on it. Windows will ask you which program you want to use to open the file. From then on, files of that type will always open with your chosen application.

2 – Changing AutoPlay Settings
Depending on the user's preferences, the default AutoPlay settings can be either highly annoying or very useful. Fortunately, it is easy to change them in Windows 7. Go back to the "Default Programs" section of the Control Panel and click "Change AutoPlay Settings."

On the next page, you'll see a list of actions on the left and a list of options on the right. Configuring your AutoPlay settings here is fairly self-explanatory. For example, if you want Windows Media Player to automatically start playing any DVD movie you put in the drive, you just need to scroll down to "DVD movie" and select "Play DVD movie using Windows Media Player" from the dropdown box to the right.
Once you've configured your AutoPlay settings, click the "Save" button. Finally, close the control panel once you've made your desired changes.


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