How to Change Default Image Viewer on Mac

If you’re a macOS user, you might have noticed that your Mac uses Preview as the default app to open images. While Preview is a robust tool with various functions, from image editing to PDF annotation, you might have a personal preference for a different application.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of changing your default image viewer on macOS.

Default Apps on macOS

Every file type on your Mac has a default application. For instance, by default, macOS uses Preview to open JPEG and PNG files, Pages for DOC files, and TextEdit for TXT files.

These default applications are set by macOS based on commonly used apps for various file types. However, Apple allows users to customize these default settings based on their preferences.

How to Change the Default Image Viewer

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set a new default image viewer on your Mac:

  • Find an image file in Finder. It should be the same file type as those you want to open with your new default app. For instance, if you want to change the app for opening JPEG files, find a JPEG image.
  • Right-click the image file and select ‘Get Info’. You can also select the file and use the keyboard shortcut Command + I.
  • In the ‘Info’ window, look for the ‘Open with’ section. This section shows the current default application for that file type.
  • Click on the dropdown menu and select the application you’d prefer to use. If the app isn’t listed, select ‘Other’ and find the desired application.
  • Click ‘Change All.’ This step will change the default for all files with the same extension.
change default image viewer mac
  • A confirmation window will appear. Click ‘Continue.’

Now, all your image files of the selected type will open with your chosen application by default.

Suggestions for Image Viewers

While Preview is a competent image viewer, other software may offer additional features. Here are some recommendations:

  • XnView MP: This tool is known for its high compatibility with over 500 image formats. It also offers image editing and organizing capabilities.
  • Adobe Lightroom: If you’re a photographer or designer, Adobe Lightroom could be a great choice with its powerful editing tools and cloud storage.
  • Photos: The native Photos app on macOS provides an integrated experience for viewing and organizing images, as well as basic editing functions.

Remember, the best image viewer for you depends on your specific needs, whether it’s organizing a vast photo library or advanced editing tools.

Setting a different default image viewer on your Mac is a simple process that can significantly enhance your productivity, especially if you frequently work with image files. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can personalize your Mac to better suit your workflow.

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