If you have multiple versions of Windows on your PC and you prefer one over the others, you can make the preferred operating system (OS) the default so that it always loads automatically. We’ll show you how to do it.
Keep in mind that this guide only works if you have multiple Windows operating systems installed on your PC. If you have a Windows and Linux dual-boot system, see our GRUB2 guide to learn how to set the default OS in your case.
RELATED: How to configure the GRUB2 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 both.
Set default OS from system properties in Windows 10
One way to select an OS by 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 field “Run”, type the following and press Enter:
Windows 10 opens a “System Properties” window. In this window, click the “Settings” button under “Startup and Restore”.
In the “Startup and Restore” window that opens, click the “Default Operating System” drop-down menu and select the operating system that you want by default.
Then click “OK” at the bottom of the “Start and Restore” window.
Tip: To get Windows to load your default OS faster, reduce the time duration in the “Operating System List View Time” field.
Click “OK” in the “System Properties” window to close the window.
And that’s all. Your selected OS is now the default OS on your PC. Windows automatically loads this operating system when you turn on your computer.
RELATED: What exactly happens when you turn on your computer?
Set default OS from system configuration in Windows 10
Another way to set the default OS in Windows 10 is by using the system configuration tool.
To use it, first open the “Start” menu and search for “System Configuration”. Then click on the tool in the search results.
Click the “Boot” tab in the “System Configuration” window at the top.
In the “Boot” tab, from the large white box at the top, select the operating system you want to make by default. Then click “Set as Default” below the white box.
This “Boot” tab is also where you can boot your PC in safe mode.
A “Standard OS” label appears next to your selected operating system. This indicates that your default -OS was set.
Save your changes by clicking “Apply” and then “OK” at the bottom of the “System Configuration” window.
You will see a prompt to restart your PC. You do not need to immediately if you need to save open files and close all running programs. In this case, click “Exit without restarting” at the prompt.
If you are okay with restarting your PC, select “Restart” instead.
You are ready. Windows now knows your default operating system and it loads it on all your future startups. Very convenient!
Now that a default OS has been set, you can see our guide on how to set default apps on your Windows 10 PC.
RELATED: How to set your default apps in Windows 10