About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 6, 2015

Windows 10, Part 7

Today we will see how to change the Windows 10 default browser.

I hear many people do not want to use the new Microsoft Edge browser (the replacement for MS Internet Explorer).  I have read online how hard it is to install the default browser either Google Chrome or Firefox, the two more popular browsers.  Well in my opinion it really is not hard.  I have tried it with both and when I installed them they asked if they could be the default choice and I answered yes after each install.  Now, my default is Chrome but it worked with both.

After the install when I chose either for the default the system took me to the “Defaults apps” location to change it.  If you missed it or want to change any of your default applications, say VLC as your media player it is simple.  Click the Start button and type “Default apps” then click on “Default app settings” and scroll to the one you wish to change.  For this example, click on “Music player” and choose the one you wish to use.  Now all of your music will open in whatever app you choose.  Mine for music and video is “VLC Player.”  You can change your browser and other apps there.  VLC can be downloaded from “” which is my link, so you cannot go wrong.  The following video shows you how to do this (no sound).

I talked about the pluses and minuses of using Cortana, and I personally chose not to.  There is another step you can perform to shut it all the way down.  So to erase Cortana’s data it may have on you and also turn her off, go to “All Settings”, (found by clicking the lined link next to your time/date on the right of the taskbar) “Privacy”, “Speech, inking & typing”, and click the gray button that says “Stop getting to know me.” If the item says, “Turn off”, click it.  If it says, “Turn on”, click out of it as it is already off.

Speaking of Solitaire, OK I was not, but pretend for me.  You now get a large number of Solitaire games with W10.  The Microsoft Solitaire Collection has the standard version “Klondike” along with Spider, Free Cell, Pyramid and TriPeaks.

These are all free; however, you get advertisements for other Microsoft products, for instance, Xbox and the plethora of games it has.  You will also have to log in with your Microsoft account if you want to save your scores for others to see.  But if you say no to the login a time or two you can play to your heart’s content alone…it is called solitaire for a reason, you know. There are daily challenges and more to come in Solitaire like leader boards, but again you must log in to get the MS money credits.

Windows 10 Solitaire

July 24, 2012

Become a Member of the File Association

Melanie emailed me recently and said that something had broken on her computer.  In the past when she opened a photograph in her computer it opened in Windows Photo Viewer. Suddenly it started opening in Microsoft Internet Explorer.  What is up with that?

Melanie has a file association problem.  When something on your computer changes quickly from what it used to do to something else you probably installed a new program on your computer.  When you installed that new application it "hijacked" one or many file associations.  This can be fine or it could be something you don’t like which is what happened to Melanie.

All files have a file "extension."  In the olden days if you saw a file you also saw its association, which was the three characters after the file name.  Some examples would be filename.doc, filename.gif, filename.jpg, etc.  In these examples the ".doc" extension is what is used to identify a Microsoft Word file.  When you double clicked a file ending in .doc it would automatically open in Word.  It is "associated" with that program through the extension.  The other two are graphic files and if double clicked will open in whatever program is associated on your computer.

Apparently in my reader’s case she installed a program which changed the file association of graphic files, most likely the two I listed .gif and .jpg.  She can fix that by telling her computer to re-associate those types of files with Windows Picture Viewer and not MSIE.

Unfortunately, this happens to people often.  Fortunately it is usually very easy to fix.

To correct the problem of incorrect associations, start by finding the file that was giving you the problem.  You also must know what program you want to use to open the file and possibly where its executable file is located.  With graphic files it is easier. 

Open with...Right click on the file before you open it and choose "Open with…"  If the open with command is not there, click off of the file, hold down the SHIFT key and right click again. "Open with" should be there this time.

When you hover over the "Open with" link you should see a list of suggested program associations you can make.  If you want it to open with one of the listed programs just this once, click it.  If you want it to open all files with the same extension every time from now on click, "Choose default program…"

A menu will pop up with programs to choose from.  When Melanie did she saw "Windows Photo Viewer" as a suggestion and clicked it. She then clicked on the check box at the bottom of this new window that says, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file."  Do not forget that last step for permanence; however, another program could change it again at another time.

Oh no!  You did all of this and the program you want associated with that extension is not listed. Now what do you do?  Click the "Browse" button and go to the program.  Be forewarned: you must know where the programs .exe file is located.  For instance, if your music files open on the wrong music player and you want them to open in iTunes, you would need to browse to, "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" and select it there.

Have fun fixing associations.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: