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I know you can change the default app for single files on Mac simply by going in "Get Info". But, it's a bit inconvenient if I want to change the default application to open all files for only a single folder. Is there an application that can select a bunch of files and change the default apps to open them with the help of a single click?

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  • Do all the files have the same extension? – Natsfan Jun 3 '20 at 15:47
  • Yes mostly I was looking to do this for all PDF files in a folder as I use a bunch of PDF file readers but if it can be more generalized say for JPG and PDF files in a folder that would be more helpful! – Pulakesh Jun 3 '20 at 15:49
  • You keep referencing “in a folder.” Do you mean that all files of a certain type in a particular folder will be opened with a specific application? – Allan Jun 3 '20 at 15:51
  • @Allan yes I want it to happen that way! – Pulakesh Jun 3 '20 at 16:25
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There can be only one 'default' for the whole system. However, you can of course set one or more files to associate with another app from the default.

In the Finder, you can select multiple files of the same type within a folder, then press Command Option I, which brings up one "Get Info" dialog for all the files.

Inspector dialog

(In fact, they don't even have to be the same file type, as long as one app can open all of the types.) You can then change the app that opens those files on a double-click.

Obviously, any files added subsequently would need to be changed manually after the fact.

You could create a Folder Action to modify the opening app for any file dropped into a given folder.

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This is not how it works.

A file type (i.e. PDF) is registered with the system through a process called “LaunchServices.” It’s what associates a file with what opens it. It can even have multiple entries to do things like “Open with Preview” and “Edit with TextEdit” for example. It can’t, however, dynamically change based on a folder because folders aren’t registered with LaunchServices.

Looking at this pragmatically, how would the system know which folders to monitor for application associations of its contents? Folders are created and deleted all the time - it wouldn’t be efficient to manage those relationships.

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