How to Make Excel the Default on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

How to Make Excel the Default on Mac

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that is widely used for data analysis, financial modeling, and organizing information. If you frequently work with Excel files on your Mac, it can be quite convenient to make Excel the default program for opening spreadsheets. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of setting Excel as the default application for opening spreadsheet files on your Mac.

Step 1: Locate an Excel File

Before we proceed with making Excel the default program, let’s first locate an Excel file on your Mac. This will help us set up the file association later.

Step 2: Right-Click on the Excel File

Right-click on the Excel file and select “Get Info”. Alternatively, you can select the file and press Command + I.

Step 3: Open With Section

In the “Get Info” window that appears, look for the “Open With” section. Click on the dropdown menu next to “Open With”.

Step 4: Choose Excel as Default Program

A list of available applications will appear in the dropdown menu. Scroll down and select “Microsoft Excel”. If you do not see it in the list, click on “Other..”.

Select Microsoft Excel from List of Applications

If you clicked on “Other.”, a new window will appear with a list of applications available on your Mac. Navigate to your Applications folder and double-click on “Microsoft Excel” to select it.

Step 5: Change All

Once you have selected “Microsoft Excel”, make sure to check the box that says “Always Open With”. This will set Excel as the default program for all spreadsheet files on your Mac.

Step 6: Confirm Changes

Click on the “Change All.” button to confirm the changes. A confirmation dialog will appear asking if you want to change all similar documents to open with Excel. Click “Continue” to proceed.


You have successfully made Excel the default program for opening spreadsheet files on your Mac. Now, every time you double-click on a spreadsheet file, it will automatically open in Microsoft Excel.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • If the changes do not take effect immediately, try restarting your Mac and then test opening a spreadsheet file again.
  • If you ever want to revert back to the previous default program, simply follow these steps again and choose a different application in Step 4.
  • If you cannot find Microsoft Excel in the list of applications, ensure that it is properly installed on your Mac. You may need to reinstall Excel if necessary.

By following these simple steps, you can streamline your workflow by ensuring that Excel is always ready to open your important spreadsheets with just a double-click. Enjoy working with Excel on your Mac!

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