How to Set Word as the Default Program for Opening Documents

Setting Microsoft Word as the default program to open Word documents is a simple task that can save you time and hassle. If you’re tired of having to manually select Word every time you open a document, this quick guide will show you how to make Word the go-to program for all your document needs.

Step by Step Tutorial: Setting Word as the Default to Open Word Documents

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. By following these steps, you’ll be setting Microsoft Word as the default program on your computer for opening documents. This means that anytime you double-click a Word document, it will automatically open in Word without you having to select it each time.

Step 1: Open Default Apps Settings

Go to your computer’s settings and select ‘Apps’, then click on ‘Default apps’.

This is where you can control what programs open different types of files on your computer. You’ll see a list of file types and the programs currently set to open them.

Step 2: Change Default by File Type

Scroll down and click on ‘Choose default apps by file type’.

Here you’ll find a long list of file extensions. You’ll need to find the .doc and .docx extensions, which are the ones commonly associated with Word documents.

Step 3: Set Word as Default for .doc and .docx

Find .doc and .docx on the list and click on the program icon next to them, then select ‘Microsoft Word’ from the options.

If Word isn’t listed as an option, you may need to browse for it on your computer or make sure it’s properly installed.

Once you’ve set Word as the default for both .doc and .docx, you’re all set! From now on, when you open a Word document, it will automatically open in Microsoft Word.

After completing these steps, you’ll no longer have to go through the extra step of selecting Word every time you open a Word document. This small change can streamline your workflow and make handling documents much more efficient.

Tips: Making the Most of Your Default Word Settings

  • Always make sure your version of Word is up to date to avoid compatibility issues with documents.
  • If you use other word-processing programs, remember that setting Word as default will override these programs for .doc and .docx files.
  • Consider setting Word as the default for other document types, such as .rtf or .txt, if you prefer using Word for all your text-editing needs.
  • If you often share documents with others, setting Word as the default can help ensure consistency in formatting and editing.
  • If you change your mind, you can always go back to Default Apps Settings and select a different program for .doc and .docx files.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if Word is not listed as an option for the default program?

If Word is not listed, you might have to browse for it on your computer. It’s possible that it’s not installed properly or that your computer doesn’t recognize it as an option for opening documents.

Can I set Word as the default for file types other than .doc and .docx?

Yes, you can set Word as the default for other text file types by following the same steps and selecting Word for the desired extensions.

Will setting Word as my default affect documents created in other programs?

It won’t affect the creation of documents in other programs, but it will affect how those documents are opened on your computer.

Can I still open documents in other programs if I set Word as my default?

Yes, you can always right-click on a document and select ‘Open with’ to choose a different program.

What if I change my mind and want to use a different program as my default?

You can change your default apps at any time by going back to the Default Apps Settings and selecting a different program.


  1. Open Default Apps Settings
  2. Change Default by File Type
  3. Set Word as Default for .doc and .docx


Efficiency is key when it comes to handling documents and setting Microsoft Word as your default program to open Word documents is a step towards a smoother workflow. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll save yourself the hassle of selecting Word each time you open a document, ensuring that you can jump straight into your work with ease. Remember to keep Word updated and to tweak your default settings as needed to fit your preferences and work style. Happy document handling!

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