Change Default Media Player on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Switching up your default media player on a Mac is a handy skill to have. Whether you’re a fan of VLC, QuickTime, or any other media player, making it the default means all your audio and video files will open in the player of your choice. It’s a quick process, and once you know how, you’ll be able to do it in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Change Default Media Player on Mac

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re trying to achieve. By changing the default media player, we’re telling our Mac to automatically use the media player we prefer whenever we open a media file. This means no more manually opening your preferred player and then opening the file. It’s a real time-saver!

Step 1: Right-click on a media file

Right-click on any media file you want to open with your new default media player.

Choosing the media file is the first step because it tells your Mac which type of file you want to open with the new default player. For example, if you want all your videos to open in VLC, right-click on a video file.

Step 2: Select "Get Info"

From the right-click menu, select "Get Info."

The "Get Info" window is where you can see all the details about the file, including which application is currently set to open it by default.

Step 3: Expand the "Open with:" section

In the "Get Info" window, find and expand the "Open with:" section.

This section is usually near the bottom of the window. If it’s not immediately visible, look for a small triangle icon to the left of "Open with:" and click it.

Step 4: Choose your preferred media player

Click on the dropdown menu in the "Open with:" section and select your preferred media player from the list.

If you don’t see your preferred player listed, you may need to click "Other…" and find the application in your Applications folder.

Step 5: Click "Change All…"

After selecting your preferred player, click the "Change All…" button.

Clicking "Change All…" applies the change to all files of that type. This means every file with the same extension will now open in your chosen media player by default.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your Mac will use your chosen media player to open all media files of the selected type. This makes it much easier to enjoy your media without the hassle of changing players every time.

Tips for Changing Default Media Player on Mac

  • Make sure the media player you want to use is downloaded and installed on your Mac.
  • If you’re unsure which media player to choose, VLC is a popular option that plays a wide variety of file formats.
  • Remember that changing the default player for one file type (like .mp4) won’t change it for other types (like .mp3).
  • You can always change the default player back to the original or switch to a different one by repeating these steps.
  • If you have multiple user accounts on your Mac, you’ll need to change the default media player for each account individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which file type a media file is?

Right-click the file and select "Get Info." Look for the "Name & Extension" field in the window that pops up. The extension (like .mp4 or .mp3) will tell you the file type.

Can I set different default media players for different file types?

Absolutely! Just repeat the process for each file type using a media file with the desired extension.

What if my preferred media player isn’t listed in the dropdown menu?

Click "Other…" at the bottom of the list, and navigate to your Applications folder to select the player you’ve installed.

Will changing the default media player affect files I’ve already opened?

No, it will only affect files you open in the future. Files you’ve opened in the past will remain in whatever player you used last time.

Can I change default apps for other file types, like PDFs?

Yes! The process is the same. Right-click on the file, select "Get Info," and choose the application you want to use from the "Open with:" dropdown menu.


  1. Right-click on a media file.
  2. Select "Get Info."
  3. Expand "Open with:" section.
  4. Choose your preferred media player.
  5. Click "Change All…"


There you have it, a straightforward guide to changing your default media player on Mac. It’s a simple yet powerful tweak that can streamline your media consumption, saving you precious time and frustration. No more getting annoyed when the wrong player pops up, or when you have to navigate through your applications to find the right one. With this change, your Mac becomes more tailored to your preferences, ensuring a smoother, more personalized experience.

Not only does this make your life easier, but it also gives you the freedom to explore the benefits of different media players. Each comes with its unique set of features and capabilities, and now you have the power to choose which one works best for you. So go ahead, make the change, and enjoy your media your way. And remember, if you ever change your mind or find a new favorite player, you can always come back and switch things up again. Happy viewing!