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Default Settings, What Does It Mean?

Posted By cynthia On June 18, 2013 @ 2:00 PM In Computer Terms | Comments Disabled

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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