How to Change Default Applications for Files in OS X

Joel Lee 26-07-2016

As with all operating systems, OS X comes with a bunch of standard apps that are used to launch common file formats, such as Pages for text documents, Preview for PDF documents, and QuickTime for videos.


But maybe you don’t want to use those apps. If that’s the case, the good news is that changing the default launch application for a particular file type is very easy.


Let’s say we want to open text documents using LibreOffice instead of the default Pages app (learn why LibreOffice is so great 9 Effective LibreOffice Writer Tips to Boost Your Productivity The one free Microsoft Office alternative that shines above the rest is LibreOffice. We'll help you get (more) familiar and productive with this versatile office suite. Read More ). Assuming LibreOffice is already installed, here’s all you have to do:

  • Right-click any text document and select Get Info.
    • Or select the text document and use Cmd + I.
  • Scroll down to the “Open With” section.
  • Select a different app, in this case LibreOffice.
  • Click Change All to make all text documents choose to open using LibreOffice. If you don’t click it, only this particular text document will launch using LibreOffice.

That’s all! Now you can double-click the text document and it won’t open with Pages anymore. You can do the same thing with ANY files and set them to launch using ANY app on your system. It’s great for keeping your system organized and sane 10 Tips To Better Organize Your Files & Folders [Mac] Most of what we do in any computer is access, manage, and use files and folders. Having a handful of good tips for using files and folders on your Mac can help you get things... Read More .

Having trouble? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to help you out.


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  1. Lina
    August 1, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Got my Macbook air recently after 5 years of Dell usage. Had to google all the buttons combinations, tips "how to" and so on. Useful information)

    • Joel Lee
      August 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Cool! Hope you're liking the Macbook Air. Glad to be of help. :)