A somewhat hidden utility on the Windows platform that's been around since the official release of Windows Vista, Is named Set Program Access and Computer Defaults. As the name Implies, It basically allows users to specify the types of default programs for certain tasks, such as web browsing and sending emails. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a desktop shortcut that will directly access this utility.
Before I begin, here's what I'm referring to. In order to access the feature, you need to navigate to Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs > Set Program Access and Computer Defaults. You will then see the following window as per the Image below.
There are three options to choose from- Microsoft Windows, Non-Microsoft and Custom. The first one (Microsoft Windows), sets the default programs that come pre-Installed with Windows. The Non-Microsoft option, Is exactly that, programs not relative to Microsoft will be defaulted. And the last Is pretty much self-explanatory. It allows you to choose custom programs.
This Is quite a useful utility to keep on hand, so I will demonstrate how to create a shortcut on your desktop, thereby access It via a click of the mouse. If you're running Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, this also applies to those. The process Is extremely simple, so without further delay, let's get this started.
Firstly, right-click on a blank area on your desktop, and then select New > Shortcut as Illustrated below.
Next, In the Type the location of the Item field, enter the following command.
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl,,3
Then hit Next to move forward.
Now you need to enter a name for your shortcut. For the purpose of this tutorial, I've named mine Windows 10 Tips Access & Defaults. Hit Finish to finalize the process.
I've now navigated to my computer's desktop, and as you can see, my shortcut has been created. Let's double-click It to make sure It's functional.
And here's the result upon double-clicking the shortcut. The Set Program Access and Computer Defaults utility Is Immediately accessed. I can set either of the three options defaulted to my computer. Let's click on the Custom radio button.
As you can see, I can select a default web browser, and enable/disable those to the right of the window.
To keep this tutorial short and straight to the point, I haven't detailed the other options, namely Microsoft Windows and Non-Microsoft. Both pretty much speak for themselves, so there's not much point elaborating on the two. The utility Itself, Is not widely used nowadays, but still comes to good use every now and then. As opposed to navigating via a number of settings In Control Panel, you now have the convenience of accessing It right at your fingertips.