How to Stop VLC From Being the Default Player

Written by iam jaebi
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VLC is a media player capable of playing many types of audio and video files. When such an application is installed on your computer, it can easily become assigned as the default player for files that it plays. If VLC opens automatically when you play a media file, and you would prefer to use a different player by default, it is straightforward to change this preference using a Windows Control Panel utility.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click on the "Start" button in the Windows Taskbar, at the lower left of your screen.

  2. 2

    Click "Default Programs" and the Default Programs Control Panel will open. This is where you can control which application launches automatically when you open a particular type of file.

  3. 3

    Click "Associate a file type or protocol with a program." This opens a list of file types. Find the file type you want to disassociate from the VLC player. For example, if you don't want ".mp3" to open with VLC, click on that file type.

  4. 4

    Click "Change Program." A list of currently installed programs will open. Pick the program you want to be the default for the selected file type. For example, you might choose Windows Media Player for .mp3 files. You must choose an alternative program or VLC will remain the default player.

  5. 5

    Click "OK." Verify the change has occurred by double-clicking any file of the type that you modified. The file should open automatically in the application you just assigned.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps three through five for each file type that you want to disassociate VLC from.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to replace VLC with a different application for all the file types that the new application can play, you do not need to associate the new application with each file type one-by-one. At Step 3, instead of clicking "Associate a file type or protocol with a program", click "Set your default programs." Find your preferred program in the list on the left, then click "Set this program as default." The new application will now be associated with all the files that it can play. Note that VLC will still be associated with any file types that the new application cannot play.

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