Solved: Can’t Change Default Apps in Windows 10

You would sometimes need to change the default programs for your PC, but sometimes, you can find you cannot change default apps or programs in Windows 10.

If Settings does not let you force Windows 10 to set apps as default, it is suggestible that you try to make sure to check default apps and settings after recent Windows 10 updates. This post will teach you how to do that to solve Windows 10 default apps crashing.

How to Fix Windows 10 Won’t let me Change Default Apps?

As this Windows default apps not changing can be caused by various reasons, such as incorrect settings. Now you may as well resort to troubleshoot it step by step.


1: Set Default Programs for Windows 10 in Settings

2: Use Control Panel to Change Windows 10 Default Programs

3: Change Default Apps Automatically

4: Run DISM to Fix Windows 10 Default Programs

5: Sign in Windows 10 with Microsoft Account

6: Check Driver Issue Related Windows 10 Default Programs

Solution 1: Set Default Programs for Windows 10 in Settings

First and foremost, you should make sure you know how to change default apps in Windows 10 properly. Only when you can do that can Windows 10 apps be set as default.

If you have no idea what are the correct steps to make default apps Windows 10, refer to the following procedure.

1. Go to Start > Settings > Apps.

seetings apps

2. Then under Default apps, locate and click the default app and then Choose an app.

choose an default app

Here you can see that the previous default Mail app is Mail, but for your reference, make Google Chrome as the default Mail app.

3. Then you will see Google Chrome show as the default app under Mail.

set google chrome as default mail app

You can also determine to Set defaults by the app in the upper corner of this screenshot.

If you have got the idea about what the right way is to change default programs in Windows 10, in a large sense, Windows 10 default apps not listed will disappear.

Solution 2: Use Control Panel to Change Windows 10 Default Programs

Control Panel is a tool available for you to deal with can’t change default apps in Windows 10, it is also feasible if you want to change Windows 10 default apps.

In this way, you are able to fix the default apps problem in Windows 10.

1. Open Control Panel.

2. Search default programs in the search bar in Control Panel and then press Enter to get in.

default programs in control panel

3. Then click Set your default programs.

set your default programs

Here you can see you are qualified to Associate a file type or protocol with a program, too.

Shortly after that, you will be brought to App settings window, you are free to change default program Windows 10 as it can’t change default apps is resolved as well.

Solution 3: Change Default Apps Automatically

It is not uncommon that some of you stumble upon can’t change the default app you want in both Settings and Control Panel. That implies that there seem to be corruptions in the apps or the settings. Hence, if you tend to set your favorite apps as default quickly, Advanced SystemCare can be open you all the time.

As a comprehensive tool, Advanced SystemCare offers you a default program tool that can change default apps automatically for you. From this perspective, even if your default apps are altered for unknown reasons, you can fix it automatically.

1. Download, install and run Advanced SystemCare.

2. Under Toolbox, locate and hit MyWin10 to install it in no time.

3. In IObit MyWin10, find out Fix problem and then decide to Set Default Program.

4. Then Advanced SystemCare will automatically install the free Default Program tool for you.

4. In IObit Default Program, you can change the Default app for Brower, Image Viewer, Audio Player, Email, and Video Player.

Here for instance, choose to Set Google Chrome as the Current Default browser.

From then on, the default app will be activated automatically every time you need it. And you won’t hit upon default apps not changing on Windows 10 anymore.

Solution 4: Run DISM to Fix Windows 10 Default Programs

It is said that Windows 10 not setting default programs can to some extent result from damaged images on your computer, which is why you need to run Deployment Imaging Serving Management (DISM) to check whether there are any problems in images.

1. Type in Command Prompt in the search box and then right click the result to Run as administrator.

run command prompt

2. Then in Command Prompt, copy and paste the commands and stroke Enter to run them one by one.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

input dism commands

Then try to restart your PC to take effect.

You may have taken notice of the phenomenon that Windows 10 default programs can be changed as you wish once the imaging error perished from your PC.

Solution 5: Sign in Windows 10 with Microsoft Account

Normally, when you can’t set default programs in Windows 10, you are supposed to check if there is any corruption in your current account. If it is the real case, it is wise for you to change to another account.

After that, maybe you are enabled to change Windows 10 default programs.

1. Navigate to Start > Settings > Accounts.

2. Then Under Your info, hit Sign in with a Microsoft account instead.

sign in with microsoft account

3. Shortly after this action, Windows 10 will prompts you to the Microsoft account window where you need to enter your Microsoft account and then click Next to log in.

make your microsoft account

If you have already made your current account the Microsoft one, just manage to see if can’t change default apps in Windows 10 is solved by going back to App Settings or Control Panel.

Solution 6: Check Driver Issue Related Windows 10 Default Programs

There is much relativity between the problem that can’t change Windows default apps after the last update in Windows 10 and the compatible or corrupted drivers. In this way, you would like to take advantage of the driver query tool to figure out what causes your default apps not changing error Windows 10.

1. Type in Command Prompt in the search box and then right click the result to Run as administrator.

run command prompt

2. In Command Prompt, input driverquery and then stroke Enter to run this command.

driver query in command prompt

Then it will inform you of the driver recently installed on your PC, which can help you detect the driver issue.

Maybe the fixed driver error on Windows 10 is able to allow you to force Windows 10 to set apps as default.

Under the circumstance where you know what drivers give rise to Windows 10 default programs can’t be changed, it is available for you to take measures to update drivers manually as you hope.

To make a summarization, there is much necessity for you to come to this thread when you can’t change Windows 10 default programs in some cases.


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  1. Jay Libove
    April 14, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Like (too) many others, I’ve encountered the problem with the Windows 10 Settings app crashing, upon trying to change the Default App for e.g. Mail, Photos, Web Browser, etc.


    Start -> Default -> Default apps, click on e.g. “Mail”, try to change to Outlook … Settings app crashes.

    None of the suggestions that I’d seen, in any forum, had worked for me (Resetting the Windows Store, moving the Immersivewhatever folder out of the way, SFC/SCANNOW, DISM…, etc).

    What DID end up working for me is this simple thing:

    Just once, for each App for which you want to change the Default program, run the current default program (i.e. Mail, Photos, Edge, Movies & TV, …).

    Just run it. Let it load completely. Don’t actually do anything in it. Once it’s run, exit it.

    No, go back to the Default apps Settings app and try again.

    I hope this works for others as well.

    1. Chris C
      May 18, 2019 at 5:56 am

      Thank you so much Jay. your solution actually fixed my problem. Worked perfectly. Didn’t even have to reboot.

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