How to Set a Portable App as Default Software in Windows 10 and 11

Portable apps are never properly installed on Windows, so there’s no way to set them as the default app, is there? Bad. Here’s how.

A portable application is an application that you can use in Windows without installing it. These applications do not come with installers and you can run them from USB sticks. You can download over 400 portable apps from PortableApps.com.

Since portable apps are not installed, they are not properly registered on the operating system. You cannot choose to set unregistered portable apps as default software in Settings. However, you can still set Portable Apps as the default software to open file formats with the methods in this guide.


How to set portable application as default software from file properties window

The usual way to set a program as default is to select the file formats it opens with through settings. However, you can also select default programs to open file formats through the corresponding properties window. This window includes a Open with option you can change to set an unregistered portable application as the default software that a file format opens with. Here is how you can select a portable application as the default program for a file format from the properties window:

  1. Open explorer from the taskbar (it has a folder library icon).
  2. Navigate to a folder containing a file that your portable app can open.
  3. Right-click on a file to open with your portable app and select Properties.
  4. the General The properties window tab that opens displays the file format for which you set the portable application as the default software. Click it Switch button there.
  5. Click on More apps to expand the list of software with which you can open the file format. Select your wearable app if you can see it here.
  6. If the required portable software is not listed, click the Look for another app on this PC option.
  7. Find and select the portable application you want to use as the default software for the file format in the Open With window.
  8. Click it To open button.
  9. Now the properties window will show that your selected portable application is the default software for the file format to open. press the Apply ability to save.
  10. To select OKAY to exit the file properties window.

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Double-click the file for which you just changed the default software. Now it will open with the portable app you selected. All files of the same format will open with this portable program by default.

How to record portable application as default software with portable recorder

To set a portable app as the default software through settings, you need to register it. You can do this with Portable Registrator. Portable Registrator is a free software that allows you to register portable applications on Windows 11/10/8/7. Here are the steps to register apps with Portable Registrator:

  1. Open the Portable Recorder page on Softpedia.
  2. Select the Download now and Secure download from Softpedia (US) options there.
  3. Open the folder containing the PortableRegistrator.exe file in Explorer.
  4. Double-click the PortableRegistrator.exe file.
  5. If you see a SmartScreen warning, click More information to select Run anyway.
  6. Click it ellipse Portable Executable box button.
  7. Select the portable app you want to save and click To open.
  8. Then click on the Program type drop-down menu to select the type of software it is.
  9. press the Register button to finish.


The portable recorder only includes Web browser and Mail program selectable type options for portable browsers and email client software packages. However, you can add other types of programs by editing the Portable Registrator configuration file. You can open this file by clicking on the Configuration button and selecting Notepad. The Portable Recorder instructions page provides more details on how you can add new program types by editing this file.

Create default software for portable app in settings

When you have registered a portable application, you can set it as the default software for certain file formats in the settings. The Default apps section of the Windows 11 Settings app includes options with which you can configure your default software. Here’s how to select portable apps saved as default software packages.


  1. Click the Start Menu Settings shortcut.
  2. Then select the apps tongue.
  3. Click on Default apps to display a list of applications that you can set as the default software for opening files. You should see your portable app registered now.
  4. Click on your portable app to view its file formats.
  5. Select a file format, then choose the portable application as the default software.
  6. Click on OKAY to save changes.
  7. You can select a general Define by default option for certain types of software. Click this option to more generally set a portable application as the default software for its associated file formats.

Open more of your files with portable apps

Setting your portable apps as the default will allow you to get the most out of them. Your portable applications start automatically each time you click to open the file formats for which you have set them as default software. This will save you from having to manually launch portable programs and choose to open files there.



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