Setting Microsoft Office Word as your default word processor on Windows 10 is a straightforward process. This ensures that Word automatically opens your documents.

In the following guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to make Microsoft Word your go-to application for all word processing tasks on Windows 10. Whether you’re dealing with DOCX files, RTF documents, or even plain text files, setting Word as your default means smoother, more consistent handling of all your documents.

Discover how to streamline your document management and enhance your productivity with this easy setup.

How to Set Microsoft Word as My Default Document Program

After adding Microsoft Word to your computer, its installer will automatically set it as the default program for certain types of files. However, even if it supports other file types, Word will not be set as the default program for them. For example, Word can process PDF files, but Microsoft Edge is likely the program that automatically opens them.

If you want to know how to set Microsoft Word as the default program for launching certain types of files, check out our tips below. 

Also Read: How to Use Microsoft Word Without Problems: Useful Tips & Fixes

First Method: Set Defaults by App

  • Go to the taskbar and right-click the Windows icon.
  • Select Settings from the list.
  • Click Apps.
  • Go to the left pane, then choose Default apps from the list.
  • Click the “Set defaults by app” link. Doing so will allow you to see all the installed programs and apps on your computer.
  • Scroll down until you see Microsoft Word. Select the software program, then click the Manage button.
  • You will be directed to another page where you’ll see all the file extensions that Word supports. You will also see the default program for each file type.
  • To change the default program for a file extension, click the program name beside it. Choose Word from the options, then set it as the default program.

Second Method: Choose Default Apps by File Type

  • On your keyboard, press Windows Key + S.
  • Now, inside the Search box, type “Settings” (no quotations), then hit Enter.
  • Select Apps.
  • Click Default apps on the left-pane menu, then go to the right pane and click the “Choose default apps by file type” link.
  • On the new page, you will see the file types and the programs associated with them. To select Word as the default program for a specific file type, click the program’s icon or the + sign next to it. Choose Word from the options.

Also Read: [EASY GUIDE] How to Change the Default Font in Microsoft Word?

Third Method: Setting Word as the Default Program from the Context Menu

  • Right-click the file you wish to use Word as the default program for.
  • Select Open with from the options, then click Choose another app.
  • Remember to select the box beside “Always use this app to open this file type.”
  • Choose Word if you can see it in the available options. If you do not see it, click More apps. Click OK to set Word as the default program for the file type you chose.

Also Read: How to Change Default Program to Open File in Windows 10

Fourth Method: Using the Control Panel

  • Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “control” (without quotations) and press Enter to open Control Panel.
  • In Control Panel, go to Programs, then click on Default Programs.
  • Select Set your default programs.
  • In the list of programs, scroll to find Microsoft Word. Click on it to see the options.
  • Click on Set this program as default to set Microsoft Word as the default for all file types it can open. Alternatively, you can click on Choose defaults for this program to manually select the specific file types you want Word to open by default.
  • Confirm your choices and close Control Panel.

By following the steps in one of the methods above, you should be able to easily set Microsoft Word as default.

If you’ve tried our methods and noticed that it’s taking a while for your files to load, we suggest installing Auslogics BoostSpeed. This tool will regularly maintain your PC, fully clean up your system, remove all unnecessary files including temporary internet files, and will check if your system components, such as HDD and SSD, are working properly.

So, the next time you try loading a document via Microsoft Word, you won’t spend over a minute waiting.


Setting Microsoft Office Word as your default word processor in Windows 10 can significantly streamline your document handling experience. Whether you choose to set defaults by app, select default apps by file type, adjust settings from the context menu, or utilize Control Panel, each method offers a straightforward path to making Word your primary tool for opening and editing documents. Remember, personalizing your default settings is key to a more efficient and tailored computing experience, especially for frequent Word users.

Did you find the solutions above useful? Perhaps, there are a few more things you would like to tweak to improve your Microsoft Word experience. Please share in the comments below – we are always happy to hear from you!


  • Open any Office application, like Word or Excel.
  • Click on “File” in the top-left corner, then select “Account” or “Help” from the menu.
  • Under “Product Information,” you’ll see the version number and license status of your Office installation.

  • Ensure Microsoft Office is correctly installed on your computer.
  • If recently installed, try restarting your PC.
  • If Word is still missing, you might need to repair your Office installation via Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Microsoft Office > Change > Repair.