I was looking around in my Add/Remove Programs area in the Control Panel and I found something on the side that said “Set Program Access and Defaults.” What does this mean and should I even mess with it?
You can use this feature to change the default programs you use for certain activities you do while on your computer. For example, such activities as simply surfing the Web, sending e-mails, playing CDs or using instant messaging programs.
Now, before I go into any more detail, I need to tell you that you must have Administrator rights to use this feature. Otherwise, you won’t be able to change any of your default programs and that will just defeat the whole purpose of this tip. If you’re not sure how to get Administrator rights, you can read this article for some help. Also, if you use a computer that is part of a network, you must be logged in as the Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to be able to do this. The same goes for those of you who use computers that are not part of a network. You still need to be signed in as the computer’s Administrator in order to change the default program settings.
Okay, once you’re all set with that, go to Start, All Programs and then find the choice that says “Set Program Access and Defaults.” (You can also get there by going to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. On the left hand side, you’ll see the choice for “Set Program Access and Defaults“). Once you’re there, you have four options to choose from. They are:
1.) You can restore your program settings to what they were when established by the manufacturer of your computer. If you want to do that, click on the Computer Manufacturer choice. Now, this option is only available if the actual manufacturer put Service Pack 1 on your computer and set allowances for those settings. (If you’re not sure on that, you may want to contact your manufacturer or look for some information about it in your computer’s manual).
2.) If you want to set your program defaults to fit the needs of the activities you do on your computer (like the ones I mentioned above), click on the Microsoft Windows choice. With this option, you will be able to access both Microsoft and non-Microsoft programs from your Start menu, your desktop or any other location you may choose on your computer.
3.) Now, if you want to use non-Microsoft programs as your defaults, click the Non-Microsoft choice. You can then just select the options that you want. Now, keep in mind: This configuration does remove your available access to other specified Windows programs.
4.) The last choice is to combine the non-Microsoft and Microsoft Windows options. This one is under the name of Custom, so if you’d like to do this, click it. You can then select the options you want to set for your computer. By doing a custom setting, you can pretty much do a combination of all the above choices. That includes being able to access your programs from your Start menu, your desktop and any other location you choose.
Once you have all your settings in place, click the OK button and everything will be ready. In case you were wondering, my computer is set to Custom, because with that, I have the most control over the way my programs act on my computer. You can (and should) choose for yourself, but that’s my opinion. Alright, now that you know what this feature is, go and get your programs to do what you want them to do, all in a few easy clicks!