How to set the default apps in macOS

Floating MacBook Pro on wallpaper of Mac and Safari icons, with system preferences opened and the Monterey wallpaper.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

You may not spend much time thinking about the default apps you’ve got set up on macOS until they suddenly get configured the wrong way — and you find that, say, the app that pops up when you click on an image file is not the one you want to use.

Out of the box, your Mac will use Apple’s own tools for most tasks: click on a web link in Mail and you’ll see Safari, for example, or double-click on an image you’ve downloaded to your system and up pops Photos. However, you might want to use different apps, or maybe a freshly installed app has decided to make itself the default and you want to undo the change (web browsers often do this, asking to become the default when they launch for the first time).

So it’s useful to know how to set the…

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