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Change the default Application for a File Type

When you double-click a file, it will open in the default Application. In this article I will show you how you can change the default application for the file itself as well as all files of the same type. I will also cover a clever trick to enable DVD media (.dvdmedia) bundles to be reassigned back to the Mac OS X DVD Player, if you accidentally change it.

Sometimes when you install or open a new application for the first time it may allow you change the default application associated with the application file type. Later you may want to revert back to an older application or OS X bundled app. Or perhaps you want to associate the file type with a different application. For example you may decide that you want to open all .png files with Adobe Photoshop, rather than the OS X Preview program.

To change the default Application for a particular file type

First select the file and right-click to bring up the Finder context sensitive menu and choose Get Info (or click on the file once, then go to File > Get Info, or select the file and press Command-I on your keyboard). This will open the Get Info window.

Get Info

In the Get Info Panel, look for the Open With disclosure triangle and click it to open, if closed so you can see the pull down menu.

Open With Disclosure Triangle

Click on that pull-down menu, and a pop-up list will display all the applications on your Mac that are able to open the file.

Move your mouse down the list and click on the application you want to open your file (in my example, I select Adobe Photoshop).

Open With Photoshop

If you only wanted to change the default application for the file that you selected, you could now close the Get Info Panel. However we want to change the default application for all of the same file types. To do this click the Change All button.

Change All

You will now see a warning pop-up asking you to confirm the change. Press the Continue button to confirm.

Confirmation Dialog Change All

Now all of the files that are the same file format will open with the new default application you just assigned.

You have two other options at the end of the list of applications that you can assign as the system default. If you have an application that you want to assign but is not in the list, you can select “other” and choose your application.

If you have a file that doesn’t seem to have any application that can open it, or if you just want to see what other applications are available, you can select “App Store” to open the App Store and see all the Apps that can understand that file format.

Open With App Store

Changing the Default Application back to the DVD Player for .dvdmedia files

One last problem, that can cause a headache is, if you accidentally change the default application for DVD media files that have the .dvdmedia extension. These files are typically created when you rip a DVD. OS X will treat these files as a bundle, that holds the content of a DVD.

The problem is if you associate another program with the file like VLC these bundles can revert to Folders. If you want to change the default application back to the Mac OS X DVD player, it is not possible to assign a folder to an Application, so reversing this assignment is problematic, however there is a solution.

  1. Open TextEdit, create a small text file and save it.
  2. Right-click on the text file, and choose “Get Info”.
  3. Under Name & Extension, change the extension to “.dvdmedia”. Hit Enter to save this change.
  4. Under Open With – Select DVD Player, and click the Change All button.

Now the .dvdmedia bundles should the DVD Player as the default application again.

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