Make Musescore 2 a default app on PC

• Mar 28, 2019 - 10:32

I've spent the last few days figuring out how to run Musescore 2 as a default app on a PC after I downloaded Musescore 3.

It appears to me that if Musescore 3 is installed, Musescore 2 cannot be a default app.

Uninstall both versions of Musescore. Download Musescore 2 again from

Then go to settings, default apps, choose default apps by file type, and set .mscx and .mscz to Musescore 2 (You'll notice that if Musescore 3 was on your PC, it will still have the icon even if the programme was unninstalled). Musescore 2 does not appear to present as an option if you have not uninstalled and reinstalled it again. I've done it twice this way and it worked both times. If this doesn't work for you, you'll need to find someone else for help.

Don't reinstall Musescore 3 if you want Musescore 2 to be your default app.

Musescore 3 is fantastic and I will download it again. It's just that right now I need Musescore 2 for a technology exam and the slightly different interface is adding an unwanted variable to an exam scenario for my students.


There is also "classic" way for doing this, that should work also on latest Windows 10 (but I'm not sure). You can select any .mscz, click icon with right mouse button (in older versions of Windows it was shift+right_click), select "open with" option. Check the "always use this app" checkbox, scroll down to "more apps" and (if MS2 is not on a list) again scroll down to "Look for another app on this pc". Then just navigate to the .exe file in MS2 instalation folder.

If by "Default app" you mean double clicking a score opens it in version 2 rather than version 3, here's what you need to do.

Right click a score
Choose Open with
Choose Choose another app
Navigate to the MuseScore 2/bin folder and Select musescore.exe

After you confirm, all files with the same extension as the file you right clicked will open in version 2. I suggest that you do this with .mscz and .mscx files. Note that there are not commas after either of these extensions. MuseScore will read files with the comma after the extension. Optionally you can do this with .mid and .musicxml files, but you may have another program you prefer these to start with.

In reply to by LisztyLiszt

Yes you can keep MuseScore 3 installed, but it will be impossible to double click a score to automatically open MuseScore 3 with it. You will either have to use "Open with" or open the score from inside of of MuseScore 3.

I think I forgot a very important step in my instructions. When you are in the window where you select MuseScore 2, there is a checkbox that says something like "Always use this application." This checkbox needs to be checked. Do not use this if you right click and use Open with to open a score in version 3 unless you want to change the behavior of a double click.

In reply to by mike320

Okay thanks. But I need the scores to be available with a double click. As I mentioned in the original post, I need a simple way of getting scores open in an exam context. Over complicating things when there is a simple solution wouldn't be a good idea in this scenario.

But thank you for pointing out the 'open with' option. Hadn't thought of that. I'll find a use for that in future no doubt.

In reply to by LisztyLiszt

Double click for both programs is impossible. You have to pick one because a .mscz file can be either version. I would keep version 3 as the default since you can look at a version 2 score if it does you any good. I guess the problem is that you can't save it in version 3 and return it to someone using version 2.

In reply to by frfancha

And reading your answer to Mike, I wonder if you really understand his explanation about "open with"
You only need to do it ONCE, by carefully check the "Always", Windows will remember your choice and after that double click will follow your setting.

On Unbuntu 18.04, I am finding that Musescore 3 appimage will not open .mscz files with a double click, and in file properties I am unable to select 'Open with' Musescore 3 appimage. This may be because I have installed incorrectly, or because there are bits of v2 which disrupt the links. Any advice?

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