One of the significant changes that occurred in Windows 8 is how it handles opening certain types of files. For example, if you want to view an image, it opens in the Windows 8 Metro Photos app interface on full screen, instead of using the good old Windows Photo Viewer on the desktop. This occurs with a number of other files, such as music, videos and PDFs. If you do not like this form of startup and wants to return to "old standard" by choosing the desired applications and opening them directly on desktop, just follow the steps explained in the tutorial below. Default apps we have used to switch to in this tutorial are used for example purposes only. You can opt any other apps as you like.
Changing Default Image & Media File Viewer
To start, let's open the Default Programs tool in Control Panel. This can be done by accessing the new Start Screen of Windows 8 (by pressing the Windows key if you are not already in there) and typing default (as you don’t know yet, Windows 8’s new start screen works almost like the one in Windows 7, type and it will search automatically). In the search window that appears, choose the Default Programs option.
In the new window that opens, select the option Set your default programs.
See a list containing the installed applications is displayed on the left side of the screen. Let's start with the pictures. For this, look Windows Photo Viewer in the list (or any other tool you have installed to handle pictures already – like Picasa, Faststone Image Viewer etc.)and select it. Then, in the right portion of the screen, click on Set this program as default.
Without leaving the screen, we set the default programs to play Music and Videos. Search for the desired application and select it (we have used Windows Media Player on this tutorial, you can choose any of your favorites. Just make sure you have already installed that app). Then, again, in the right portion of the screen, click on Set this program as default.
You can change all default file handlers from this single window. Like, we have changed our default Internet Browser from Internet Explorer 10 to Mozilla Firefox, PDF reader tool to Adobe PDF Reader from default Metro Reader app. We changed default Email Client to ThunderBird and so on.
After completing these changes, do not forget to click OK for the changes to be saved by the system. From now on, your pictures, music and PDFs open on the desktop, using the defined application. The same procedure can be used for other types of files, just install and then set the program you want to use as default.