How To Make Microsoft Office Word & Excel The Default Programs In Windows 11

Microsoft Office Word and Excel are preferred by millions of computer users worldwide for creating, editing, and viewing documents.

Microsoft Office Word & Excel

When you install Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2021/2019/2016, the Office installer usually changes the default applications for supported file formats to Word, Excel, and other apps. However, they may not be the default apps on your computer for various reasons.

The "Microsoft Word/Excel is not the default software for reading and editing documents" message may also appear in Microsoft Office Word and Excel apps. "Do you wish to choose which file formats Word/Excel should open?" When you click the Yes button, nothing happens, but the following message appears:

Microsoft Office

If you go to the Word/Excel settings menu and select Default Programs, the above page appears, instructing you to go to Settings > Programs > Default apps to set Word/Excel as the default. An application cannot establish itself as the default in Windows 11.

In Windows 11, changing the default program or establishing a program as the default for a file type is not an easy task. That said, it's not impossible to accomplish.

Here's how to make Word and Excel the default programs in Windows 11 if you're a Microsoft Office fan. Microsoft in German also available at

In Windows 11, make Microsoft Office Word the default program.

Step 1: Go to the Settings app on Windows 11. Click Apps in the left pane.

Step 2: Click Default applications on the right side.

Step 3: Find the Word item by scrolling down the applications list. Click it to discover which file kinds Word is the default software for and which file types it supports if Word isn't.

Step 4: In the.docx file type section, click the default program name, then More programs, and then Word from the list to make Word the default file type for.docx files.

Rep this process for the .doc .docm .dotx, and. odt file formats. It's that simple!

In Windows 11, make Office Excel the default application.

Step 1: Go to the Default Apps tab in Settings > Apps.

Step 2: Locate and click on the Excel item.

Step 3: The page lists the file types that the Office Excel software supports. Make Excel the default for.xlsx (default Excel Workbook file type) .xlsm (Excel Macro enabled Workbook), and .xlsb (Excel Binary WorkBook) file types to make it the default.

To establish Excel as the default, click the program name (the current default application) in the.xlsx section, then pick Excel from the list to make it the default. Apply the same procedure to .xlsm and .xlsb files.