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How To Change Default App On Chromebook

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To change the default app or program on a Chromebook, right-click the file and choose Open with > Change default.

That is the short version. Want me to show you how to do this? Read on.

What is a default app?

Let’s imagine that you downloaded a picture from the web. You double-click the file to open it.

You don’t tell your Chromebook to use a specific program to open the file. It knows which app to use for an image.

That, is the default app.

For example, Microsoft Word could be the default app for .doc files. Chrome could be your default browser and even the PDF viewer.

You can change the default app

Let’s assume that the built-in Media app is your default app for .png files. Now, you want to open a file using a newly installed Android app.

If you want to do this only occasionally, (for example, open a photo and edit it using the Snapspeed app.) you can right-click and choose Open with.

You can choose from the list of available apps.

"Open with" menu on Chromebook

Now, this is for one-time use. What if you want this new app to open all your .png files, without you going to the Open with menu.

That’s when you should change the default app. To do this:

  1. Right-click the file and choose Open with."Open with" menu on Chromebook
  2. From the list, choose Change default.Change default
  3. From the pop-up screen, choose the new default app.Pick a new default app

This changes your default app for that file type. You must repeat these steps to change the default app/program for other file types.

Questions? Let us know in the comments section below.


2 responses to “How To Change Default App On Chromebook”

  1. Wesley Dowding Avatar
    Wesley Dowding

    Hi – can you help on this topic? I am trying to open a pdf on a mounted drive but the inbuilt pdf viewer does not work and it gives no option to use any others (such a dochub) On all the other folders it works fine. I am running in dev mode though!

    1. What does the error message say?


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