How to Change Default Application in Ubuntu Linux

This post describes steps one can take to choose default application for file type and other formats in Ubuntu Linux.

By default, Ubuntu Linux will open the default program associated with a file type automatically. If there are multiple programs for a particular file type, the default program will always be selected.

You can change the default application that is used to open files of a given type. This will allow you to always open your preferred application when you double-click to open a file. For example, you might want your favorite music player to open when you double-click an MP3 file.

Below is how to change or choose a different default program in Ubuntu Linux.

How to change default program for file types in Ubuntu Linux

As mentioned above, you can change the default application that is used to open files of a given type in Ubuntu Linux.

Below is how to do that.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

In the Settings app, click on Default Applications tile to open the panel.

On the System Settings -> Default Applications setting pane, use the dropdown caret to select the default program you want to associate with a file type.

As stated, some file types will have multiple programs that can open them. Choosing the application for a file type from below will make that program the default.

Alternatively, browse to the file you want to change its default association. Right click on the file, then select Properties.

Select the Open With tab.

Select the application you want and click Set as default.

If Other Applications contains an application, you sometimes want to use, but do not want to make the default, select that application and click Add.

This will add it to Recommended Applications.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to change or switch default application for file types in Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.