Changing Default OS X Applications

There are some cases where certain files open in applications not well suited for the current task at hand.

Personally, this happens to me when I create JPGs in Photoshop. Mac OS X naturally wants to open it up in Photoshop. Surely Photoshop can open it (it did create it after all), but for preview purposes it can be a slow process. Opening the file in Preview, on the other hand, can offer a much quicker solution.

Enter DefaultApp, a preference pane that makes system wide default app changes. You no longer have to set the preferred application for each individual file you create. Just set it up once, and forget about ever setting it up. It’s that simple.

DefaultApp Overview

DefaultApp Overview

Types of Application

Default App is capable of handling various different system areas, and is not limited solely to specifying which application should open a particular file type:

  • Internet – Assign which application opens up links to email addresses, RSS feeds, FTP servers, or just common links to webpages.
  • Media – It also can assign which application opens when certain media is attached to you Mac, say a digital camera or blank DVD.
  • Apps – Set any Application as the default opener for specific file types.
  • URLs – Specify what specific URLs open up with which application.
  • Extensions – Assign a default application depending on the files extension.
  • UTIs – Set default apps for which specific file and folder types open.
  • MIME Types – Specify how you would like certain MIME to be opened when you encounter them throughout the internet.

To uninstall DefaultApp, simply navigate to ~/Library/PreferencePanes/ and move DefaultApps.pref to the trash.

Alternative Solutions

A simple alternative is to manually do what DefaultApp does automatically, which may be a better idea when it is a rare occasion when a file opens up in the incorrect application, or one that is less convenient for the current use.

Get Info

Get Info

By simply pressing Ctrl+I with the file selected, you are able to “Get Info” about the file, and in this new window, a section titled “Open With” will allow you to assign a specific Application to open up that certain file, each and every time.

To take it a step further, you can also assign a specific application to open up that file type, by clicking the “Change All…” button.

Conclusion

DefaultApp collects a wide range of different types of file types and their associated applications into one single preference pane resulting in added convenience and utility. This small, yet powerful utility is perfect for those who deal with many types of files and for those who are annoyed by rare but irritating occasions where a simple JPG opens up in Photoshop.

As the app is completely free, it’s something you should try out if you have even the slightest bit of interest in it. Now, is opening a file always a pleasant experience for you? Or is it usually troublesome and tedious process?


  • http://www.whyte-art.com Martino Palladini

    Thanks, very helpful. The fact that Leopard previews PSDs instead of opening them in Photoshop has always bugged me.

  • Jason Stints

    Can’t you just get info on a file, select a new Open With application, and then click Change All? That’s what I always do. Only have to do it once, and it’s much quicker than going into a System Preferences panel.

    • http://www.ejboyer.com Eric Boyer

      Yea, then what do you do when clicking links in different applications? How will it know what the default browser is? You can’t get info on a link in Tweetie to tell it to open in Webkit instead of Firefox. :)

      This app makes it easy.

    • http://www.martinjuhasz.de choise

      oke, so you didn’t read this article or? ;)
      Look at “Alternative Solutions”

  • http://www.joaojoaquim.com Joao Joaquim

    nice app, that preference pane sure comes in handy
    thanks

  • http://www.ejenks.com Erik Jenkins

    This is a very concise but helpful article. I’d like to see more of these tidbits of small stuff you can do to enhance the Mac user experience. Keep it up Appstorm!

  • http://www.SmashBit.com Chris W

    Nice, I seem to a lot of issues with PSDs opening in ColorSync. I never use it for anything. This looks like a great solution.

  • Bob Smith

    You forgot to mention that DefaultApp hasn’t been updated in nearly 2 years.

  • Pingback: RCDefaultApp: cambia le applicazioni per difetto rapidamente | LaMelamozzicata

  • Pingback: An Awesome Way to Find New Mac Apps | Christ, Music and Technology...

  • http://twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime

    “By simply pressing Ctrl+I with the file selected…”

    That should be CMD + I :)

  • Pingback: RCDefaultApp « Mi Blog Personal

  • Pingback: An Awesome Way to Find New Mac Apps | Unseen Geek

  • http://www.best-blenderreviews.org/margaritaville-dm900-blender-battery-powered-frozen-concoction-maker.html Click Here

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow