Brief: This beginners guide shows you how to change the default applications in Ubuntu Linux.
Installing VLC media player is one of the first few things to do after installing Ubuntu 16.04 for me. One thing I do after installing VLC is to make it the default application so that I can open video file with VLC when I double click it.
As a beginner, you may need to know how to change any default application in Ubuntu and this is what I am going to show you in today’s tutorial. But before we do that, I recommend that you read this guide on how to install software in Ubuntu and how to remove it.
Change default applications in Ubuntu
The methods mentioned here are valid for all versions of Ubuntu be it Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 16.04. There are basically two ways you can change the default applications in Ubuntu:
- via system settings
- via right click menu
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1. Change default applications in Ubuntu from system settings
Go to Unity Dash and search for System Settings:
In the System Settings, click on the Details option:
In here, from the left side pane, select Default Applications. You will see the option to change the default applications in the right side pane.
As you can see, there are only a few kinds of default applications that can be changed here. You can change the default applications for web browser, email client, calendar app, music, videos and photo here. What about other kinds of applications?
Don’t worry. To change the default applications of other kinds, we’ll use the option in the right click menu.
2. Change default applications in Ubuntu from right click menu
If you have ever used Windows, you might be aware of the “open with” option in the right click menu that allows changing the default applications. We have something similar in Ubuntu Linux as well.
Right click on the file that you want to open in a non-default application. Go to properties.
And in here, you can select the application that you want to use and set it as default.
Easy peasy. Isn’t it? Once you do that, all the files of the same kind will be opened with your chosen default application.
If you prefer videos, you can follow the instructions in the video on our YouTube channel:
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I hope you found this beginners tutorial to change default applications in Ubuntu helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop a comment below.