If you’re a recent Mac OS X convert, you might be wondering how to force a particular file type to open in a different application than the default. No? Well, we’re going to explain it anyway.
This is most useful when you’ve installed something like VLC and want to open your video files in that instead of the default, which is QuickTime Player.
Changing the Default Application for File Types in OS X
It’s really easy to change the default file type—just click on one of the files, and choose File –> Get Info from the main menu, or use the Cmd+I shortcut key. Once that dialog shows up, you can head down the “Open with” section, change it to the application you’d prefer, and then click on Change All.
You should see a prompt verifying you really want to do it, where you’d click Continue.
That’s pretty much all there is to it.
Changing a Specific File to Open in a Different Application
If you just want to change that one file, you can bring up the context menu with a right or two-finger click, choose Open With –> Other…
Select the application you want to change it to, and then click the “Always Open With” box.
Note: if you’re trying to play a file off a read-only network share, you won’t be able to do this, or probably the first method either. You’ll have to copy a file locally to make the change, otherwise you’ll get this error message:
And there you go, now you can open your video files in VLC instead of QuickTime.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 02/3/11