If you have multiple versions of Windows on your PC and prefer one over the other, you can make that preferred operating system (OS) the default so that it always loads automatically. We’ll show you how.
Note that this guide only works if you have installed multiple Windows operating systems on your PC. If you have a Windows and Linux dual-boot system, check out our GRUB2 guide to learn how to set the default operating system for you.
RELATED: How to Configure GRUB2’s Boot Loader Settings
To set the default operating system on a dual-boot system, Windows 10 offers two ways. Both work the same and you can continue with either.
Set the default operating system
from the system properties
in Windows 10
One way to select an operating system as the default in Windows 10 is by using the System Properties window
To use this method, first, open the "Run" box by pressing Windows + R.
In the "Run" box, type the following, and then press Enter:
Windows 10 will open a "System Properties" window. In this window, in the “Startup and recovery” section, click the “Settings” button.
=”https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2-startup-recovery-settings.png” alt=”” /> In the “Startup and Recovery” window that opens, click the “Default Operating System” drop-down menu and
select the operating system you want to be the default. Then at the bottom of the “Start and Recovery” window,
src="https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/3-select-default-os.png" alt="Select the default operating system from the "Default operating system" drop-down menu in the "Startup and Recovery" window." /> In the "
System Properties" window, at the bottom, click "OK" to close the window.
And that’s it. The selected operating system is now the default operating system on your PC. Windows will automatically load this operating system when you turn on your computer.
RELATED: What Exactly Happens When You Turn On Your Computer?
Set the default operating system from the system settings in Windows 10
Another way to set the default operating system in Windows 10 is by using the System Configuration tool.
To use it, first, open
Start” menu and find “System Settings”. Then click the tool in the search results.
src=”https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/5-open-system-configuration.png” alt=”” /> In the “System Settings” window, at the top, click the “Boot” tab.
=”https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/6-boot-tab.png” alt=”” /> On the “
large white box at the top, select the operating system that you want to be the default. Then, under the white box, click “Set as Default”.
This “Boot” tab is also where you can boot your PC in safe mode.
=”https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/7-set-default-os.png” alt=”” />
Next to the selected operating system, the “Default Operating System” label appears. This indicates that your default operating system was configured correctly.
Save the changes by clicking “Apply” and then “OK” at the bottom of the “System Settings” window.
You’ll see a message asking you to restart your PC. You don’t have to do it immediately if you need to save open files and close any running programs. In this case, click on the “Exit without restarting” option in the message.
If you agree with restarting your PC, select the “Restart” option instead.
You’re all set. Windows now knows your default operating system and will load it on all your future boots. Very practical!
Now that a default operating system has been set, check out our guide on how to set the default apps on your Windows 10 PC.
RELATED: How to Set Your Default Apps on Windows 10