Another of the user-friendly changes of Windows 7 is that the several tasks which can change the default programs have been combined to a single dialog box. Even better, they are easier to find.
If you left-click on the Windows 7 globe, which has a function similar to the Start button in Windows XP, the Default Programs dialog box is accessible from the right-hand side of the menu that pops up.
Once you have reached the Default Programs dialog box, the first choice is somewhat unusual — it’s labelled "Set your default programs," but in reality, it allows you to make a program the default for all file types that it supports, or to make the program the default for individual file types — from those the program has registered with Windows 7.
The next option allows you to do the same type of step, but in the other direction. This option is much more powerful, in that the program does not need to have registered with Windows 7 that it can handle such an extension.
The next option lets us change our AutoPlay settings for CD’s and other media.
The last one gives us an easy way to tell Windows 7 our favorite web browser, email program, and media player and make them the defaults.
Note that the lower left-hand corner has a link where we can set and control the built-in Parental Controls.
Other than the first, these functions were available in Windows XP, but were scattered across multiple dialog boxes.
The next two dialog boxes show setting Firefox to handle the file types and protocols that it can handle.
In this last dialog box, we approach the setting of Firefox defaults from the other direction — we pick the file extension and then set Firefox to handle it. (This is just an example — Firefox did all these things automatically when it was installed. You don’t have to make these changes for Firefox to work!).
This look at the Setting the Default Programs functions in Windows 7 shows us a great example of the increased user-friendliness of Windows 7. Microsoft has made the functions much more accessible and logical.