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Default Settings, What Does It Mean?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms

Eleanor from Lakeland, FL writes:

Try as I may, I can not really understand “by default” To me ‘fault’ has a negative indication. So much is done by default and I am lost to meaning. I’d appreciate your directions. Thanks for helping a learner!!! 

Eleanor, glad to help out. While “fault” may have a negative connotation (It’s all your fault… We’re living on a fault line… The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves… You have defaulted on your loan…) in many situations; default, when used in connection with the settings on an electronic device, is simply an automatic setting assigned by the manufacturer.

The Windows operating system comes with Internet Explorer as the default browser.  That means, by default, it will open if you click on a hyperlink.  So, if you read that something is done by default, it means that will happen unless you change the settings or select another option.  

For example: When you start a new document in Word, your default font might be Arial. If you wanted a different type style, you would have to select another font.

The sounds a new mobile phone uses to notify you of calls and messages are the default settings. You may later choose a different ringtone or notification sound for texts. 

These settings are sometimes called factory defaults. If, for example, a tablet is having technical issues, a tech rep might suggest resetting it to the factory defaults.

Hope that clears things up.

~ Cynthia

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16 Responses to “Default Settings, What Does It Mean?”

  1. Marie says:

    This was a wonderful tip. I would rate this a 10 ++. I have been using computer for many years and never understood what default meant. So so helpful..Thanks

  2. Greg says:

    Excellent tip. I also wasn’t sure what it meant but now it is all clear.

  3. Faith says:

    The word “Default” means “failure to fulfill an obligation” – in this context, it means “if you fail to choose another option” this one (the default) will be chosen for you.

    • Darlene Gentry says:

      To Faith !!!!You explained this PERFECTL!!!!!!! I’m a learner & you summed this up in in sentence. WISH YOU HAD YOUR OWN EMAIL SIGHT that answered questions for people like me. If u do I
      need your email & if u don’t needs to hire you you would be an asset to the company. Thank you so much!!

  4. joseph says:

    I use to hear this word being use in sport business world or law. When being used in the language of computors I was loss. Instantly still hesitant whether to or NOT to default a programme. Thanks

  5. Joan says:

    Great, the word is always a puzzle for me, now I have better understanding. Thanks

  6. adam says:

    What does mean acc manifaction fault for ford mondeo 2009 diesel…thx

  7. margaret dougal says:

    I too was very confused by the word default, since I worked in accounts for many years default was not good, the same word in computer speak has a completely different meaning, thank you for explaining, I will no longer be affraid to click on the default button.

  8. PHYLLIS says:

    This is brill, thank you now I understand

  9. Judy B Parker says:

    Thank you.I have been afraid to use it on comp or new smart phone.Finally it makes sense.JBP

  10. Tina Tucker says:

    Thank you. This clears up much.I lifeanddeathsituation(cancer and all the time consuming things that go with it)Haven’t had time to look alot up. Thanks.

  11. Babs says:

    Thank you I too did not understand this has been a great help

  12. Gail says:

    Now that I get what it means. Is there ANY Way possible that you could lose any mess, pics, …anything?

  13. Rose says:

    Thanks for this information I also think of something negative or something we should not do to mess the computer

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