In my previous articles I have shown you how to customize the AutoPlay feature in Windows Vista and how to set your default programs for certain file types and protocols. In this tutorial I will show you how to set defaults for certain activities. These settings can be done from the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults window, where you will find options on how to change the default programs for activities such as web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, etc.
In the Start Menu search box type the word default and then click on the first result.
The Default Programs main window will open and you will see four options.
Click on the Set program access and computer default link.
In the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults window there are three categories: Microsoft Windows, Non-Microsoft and Custom.
Each category has specific options. If you click on the small arrows from the right, a roll-over menu will appear with all available options.
The first category, Microsoft Windows, has predefined options related to the programs used for browsing theinternet , e-mail, media player and instant messenger. Because these options are predefined and cannot be changed, this setup is recommended for people that want to revert to the classical Windows programs.
The second category, Non-Microsoft, allows you to change the predefined options with custom programs, if you there any available alternatives. This setup is recommended for users that don’t want to use the default Windows programs.
If you look carefully, you will notice under each option some additional information: the programs that have access to that task and the programs that don’t. This is a Non-Microsoft setup, as a consequence, the access will be blocked for all Windows default programs like Internet Explorer, Windows Mail, and so on. Also, access will be granted to all non-Microsoft programs, like Opera, MozillaFirefox, etc.
You can select each default program that you want to use, from the drop-down list – if you have any available programs. In my case, I can only select the default web browser.
The third category is called Custom and it is recommended for advanced users that want to manually configure each default program and the access to that program.
After you have selected your preferred defaults, click on the OK button.