You can easily prevent these media files from opening in the full-screen Windows 8 apps when you double-click them. All you have to do is change your default programs.
Set Desktop Applications As Your Default ProgramsYou can change these settings from the Default Programs window. To
open it, press the Windows key, type Default, and press Enter.
Click the Set your default programs
link in the window that appears.
Scroll down in the list, select the Windows Photo Viewer, and click the Set this program as default
option. This will make photos and other image files open in the Windows
Photo Viewer application on your desktop. Windows won’t use the
full-screen Photos app anymore.
Next, select the Windows Media Player application and click Set this program as default
. This will make music and video files open in Windows Media Player on
the desktop, not in the full-screen Music and Videos apps.
PDF documents are the last type of file that will open in full-screen
mode by default. PDFs open in Reader, Microsoft’s included PDF-viewing
application, by default. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t included a
desktop application that can read PDFs. You’ll need to download an
alternative PDF reader such as Sumatra PDF
, PDF-XChange Viewer
, or even Adobe Reader
After installing another PDF reader, you can select it when opening a PDF file to make it your default PDF viewer.
While we’ve covered setting Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Media
Player as the default applications here, you can also install and use
other applications – such as VLC
for media files or IrfanView
for images — and set them as your default application, just as you could on earlier versions of Windows.
(However, if you’re using Windows RT on an ARM device, you won’t be able to install any third-party desktop applications.)
Changing Individual File Associations
To make only a specific file type open in a desktop application, you
can right-click a file of that type in Windows Explorer, point to Open with
, and select Choose default program
. This will only affect the selected file extension – for example, if you
set PNG images to always open in Windows Photo Viewer, JPEG images will
still open in the Photos app.
Note that, if you’re using an application in the new Windows 8 user
interface and you open a file of one of these types, it will now open in
the your selected desktop application. Windows 8’s new interface and
the desktop share the same file associations, so you can’t have separate
file associations for each environment.