Control default internet programs

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Do you have IE and Netscape installed? Both browsers check whether they are the default browser. That is, if you click on a link in an application, lets say email, then default browser will start up even if the other browser is already running. If you want Netscape to be the default browser and you want Internet Explorer to stop checking if its the default browser, you do that from Internet Options within the Control Panel. Open the Programs tab and you will see the checkbox for Internet browser should check to see whether it is the default browser.

Internet Options Programs tab also lets you select which programs Windows will use for default

  • HTML editor
  • E-mail program
  • Newsgroup program
  • Internet call program
  • Calendar
  • Contact tool
When you check the pulldowns, there will be nothing there but the defaults unless you have installed a program which registers itself for the task. For example, if you install the full Outlook, it will show up in the pulldowns for email and newsgroup programs. I installed Ultraedit and it set itself as my default editor. The pulldown then had the options of Notepad and Ultraedit. After installing Outlook 2000, I had pulldown options of Outlook and Outlook Express for email and newsgroup. After installing Freeagent , which is the best newsgroup reader around, I had the options of Agent and Outlook.

There is a "Reset Web Settings" button to return Windows to its original defaults

  • HTML editor : Notepad
  • E-mail program : Outlook Express
  • Newsgroup program : Outlook Express
  • Internet call program : Netmeeting
  • Calendar : none
  • Contact tool : Address Book

This should work in all versions of Windows including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

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