How Do I Change What Program Opens Email Attachments?

By Brian Richards

When you open an attachment in an email message, your computer will automatically use whatever application has been designated as the default application for that file type. For instance, if you have been sent a file with the extension WMV, your computer will likely open the file with Windows Media Player, the default application for files ending in WMV. If you would like to choose a specific application to open a certain attachment, or if would like to permanently change which program opens that email attachment, use the "Open with" context menu.

Step 1

Right-click the attachment (Cmd-click in Mac OS X) to open a pop up contextual menu. Choose the "Open with" option.

Step 2

Click "Choose Program" on a Windows PC, or "Other..." on Mac OS X.

Step 3

Select the application you would like to use to open the email attachment from the list of programs you have installed.

Step 4

Check the box next to "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" on a Windows PC or "Always open with" on Mac OS X if you want to change the default application associated with that particular file type.

Step 5

Click "Open" to launch the email attachment using the program you selected.

Tips & Warnings

  • The default application associated with the file type can always be changed by accessing the "Open with" menu again and selecting a different program.