How to change default picture editor in Windows XP

Welcome to another simple & easy life-saving how-to!

So, you know how to change a file’s default program : right-click -> Open with -> Choose Program… -> check the check-box “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file”. Cool!

Now, what about changing the default image EDITOR? (Right-click -> edit) Dunno about you, but for example, if I wanna edit a picture, I don’t want MS Paint: I want GIMP (or Photoshop, if you have too much money) to be launched.

Most solution I kept finding all over the place were overkill crap-ware (useless software) solutions or overly technical procedures (Registry Hack) for what is already available in Windows. So here’s the easy short method:


1. Open Explorer (WIN Key +E) -> Tools -> Folder Options… -> File Types tab

2. Click once on any item of the list, then press the first letter (with your keyboard) of the file type you wish to modify the default editor. Since all the files extensions are in alphabetical order, it’ll take seconds to find what you’re looking for. (.jpg is J, .bmp is B, .html is H, etc.)

3. Once you’ve found the file type you want, select it, then click the bottom right button Advanced.

4. Create a new Action entry and call it “edit“, then browse which application to be used to perform the action (aka the editor of your choosing).

5. Finally, click in the application’s path and add two double-quotes at the very end, around the variable %1 like this “%1”. Otherwise it won’t work. That’s the killer detail that is hard to find anywhere.

6. Press OK and voilà! You’re done!

Now all your files will be opened by that editor when you click edit!



P.S. : Leave a comment if it helped! And if you have any questions, lemme know!

Animal tested! This how-to was tested on:
-Windows XP
-Probably similar for Windows Vista/7/8… Needs more investigation…

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