How To Set VLC as Default Video Player for MKV Files in Windows 10

Setting default app in Windows 10 has dramatically changed. Before in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you can quickly set the default app for the certain type of files right from the right-click context menu but not anymore in Windows 10.

No default app option in Context menu

So how can I set default apps in Windows 10, such as setting VLC as the default video player for MKV files?

The right place to go is the Settings app, obviously. Go to Settings → Systems → Default apps, and you will see one category on the right called Video player. You can change it from default universal Movies & TV app to VLC player but that only change the default behaviour for standard video types such as MP4, MPEG, AVI, or WMV files. Opening MKV file still remains same with Movies & TV.

Settings - Default App - Video app

You will need to go a little further. Click Choose default apps by file types at the bottom of the window to go to next page.

Settings - Default App - by file type

Then scroll down the page until you find the .MKV file type on the left, clicks whatever the app that is current set up, then choose VLC media player from the list.

Settings - Default App - by file type - mkv

The change takes effect right away. From this point on, simply double-clicking the MKV files on your computer will open the media file right in VLC media player.

/updated Feb. 6, 2016/

It turns out that you can use the context menu to set a different app to open a certain type of files, even though you don’t see it first. Right-click a MKV file, choose Open with, then Choose another app. Select VLC media player, check the box “Always use this app to open .mkv files“, then click OK.

Open With - always use this app

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 02/06/2016

Posted in: Windows 10
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