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Summary:

I usually blow through third party software installs, which sometimes leads to my file extensions being hijacked. For instance, if you’re not careful when installing Adobe Photoshop, it will take over all of your picture files, which is super annoying (Preview usually opens all pictures, which […]

I usually blow through third party software installs, which sometimes leads to my file extensions being hijacked. For instance, if you’re not careful when installing Adobe Photoshop, it will take over all of your picture files, which is super annoying (Preview usually opens all pictures, which I love because it loads sooooo much faster than Photoshop).

There are two methods to chose which programs open which file extensions. This first method will change which program always opens the designated file, and the designated file ONLY:

  1. Right click on the file and select “Open With > Other”
  2. Select the program from the list that you always want that file to open with
  3. Click the “Always Open With” checkbox
  4. Click “Open”
  5. Now whenever you double click on that file, it will always open with the program you specified.

This next method changes the program that opens all files with a matching file extension. For example, if all of your .jpg’s are opening in Photoshop and you want them to open with Preview you would use this method:

  1. Right click on the file and select “Get info”
  2. Go to the “Open With” section and expand it
  3. Select the program you would like to open that file extension with from the drop down list
  4. Click the “Change All” button
  5. A pop up window will appear, if you’re sure you want to make the change click “Continue”
  6. And you’re done! Now all of your files with that extension will open with the program you specified!

So I’ve gone over two different methods, with different purposes: the first method is used for single files, while the second is for all files with a certain extension. I hope this helps eliminate some future headaches for everyone!

  1. Thank you for the post. I usually use the last option, it works for a short period of time then it will return to its previous default program. For example, I have pages and OpenOffice installed. If I change the .doc documents to open with pages, it will do that for a short time then it will go back to opening with OpenOffice. Not only for .doc but for all kinds of documents.

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  2. I tried to do this for .flv files so that they always open with QuickTime Player but unfortunately it doesn’t work. It always reverts to any of the other Video Players I’ve installed.

    Do you know what could possible be wrong with my setup?

    Thanks in advance

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  3. Unfortunately, these are the only two methods I know of. Anyone else know?

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  4. I use the Preference Pane app RCDefaultApp to do this:
    http://www.rubicode.com/Software/RCDefaultApp/

    Maybe it will solve you problem, Patrick.

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  5. @Erik
    Unfortunately not.

    I’ve already assigned “flv” and “video/x-flv” to QuickTime Player but it still doesn’t work.

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  6. @patrick: And you have perian installed?

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  7. Yes, when I drag the .flv file on QuickTime Player it plays flawlessly but I can’t assign it to be the standard player.

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  8. Sorry, I’m out of ideas. The only think I can think of would be to use RCDefaults to force it to use another player (FLV player or VLC), reboot, then force it back to Quicktime.

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  9. Ok, will try this out. Thanks

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  10. An easier variation of the first method is to right click on the file and then hold down the Option key. Option-clicking changes “Open With” to “Always Open With.”

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