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iTunes for Windows: How to make iTunes the default application for music and audio files in Windows Vista and Windows 7

This article addresses steps for making iTunes the default application for audio files in Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Note: To set iTunes as the default application in Windows XP and Windows 2000, follow the instructions in this article.

iTunes can play many types of audio files available on the Internet. Using Windows, you can select iTunes as the default application to open audio files.

For a complete list of the kinds of audio files iTunes can play, see iTunes: Compatible Audio File Types.

iTunes for Windows can be configured as the default application using the Default Programs control panel.

Changing the default media application

  1. From the Start button, click Default Programs.
  2. The Default Programs control panel appears.
  3. Select Set your default programs.

  4. Select iTunes.
  5. To make iTunes the default player of all media types iTunes can recognize: Select "Set this program as default."
    To customize which media types iTunes will play by default: Select "Choose Defaults for this program," and place check marks by the desired file types.

  6. Click OK.

Note: To make a different application the default media player, follow these same steps and select the application you want to use. iTunes for Windows can be configured to notify you if iTunes is not the default player for audio files.

Setting notification if iTunes is not the default media application for audio files

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. From the Edit menu, choose Preferences.
  3. Click the Advanced button and then click the General tab.
  4. Click "Warn me if iTunes is not the default player for audio files" to select this option.
  5. Click OK.

Each time you start iTunes, you will see this message: “iTunes has detected that it is not the default player for audio files. Would you like to go to the Default Programs control panel to fix this?” This message will appear unless iTunes is set as the default application. You can also unset this message.

Unsetting notification if iTunes is not the default media application for audio files

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. From the Edit menu, choose Preferences.
  3. Click the Advanced button and then click the General tab.
  4. Click "Warn me if iTunes is not the default player for audio files" to deselect this option.
  5. Click OK.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Sep 2, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Sep 2, 2014
  • Article: HT3202
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