Change Default Dual Boot Order in XP, 2000, or Longhorn/Vista System

The following Tech-Recipes tutorial explains how to set the default OS on a Windows dual boot system.

I recently installed the new Longhorn/Vista beta as a dual boot. However, I did not want my family to have to play with my development OS after every reboot. Here is how to change the default OS that loads after a reboot.

    1. Right-click on My Computer , and select Properties.
    – (In Vista, you can select View System Information from the Computer window.)
    2. From the System Properties window, select the Advanced tab.
    3. Push the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
    4. Select the default OS from the Default operating system dropdown box.
    5. Click OK twice.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

28 Responses to “Change Default Dual Boot Order in XP, 2000, or Longhorn/Vista System”

  1. October 02, 2008 at 10:39 pm, Stefan said:

    Excellent… it has been annoying me forever that the wrong OS loaded when i wasn’t paying attention and too late to change it on start up…


  2. March 05, 2009 at 7:22 pm, steve said:

    This is exactly what I am looking for.


  3. April 09, 2009 at 6:19 pm, DavidDStubbs said:

    After installing Ubuntu Linux, that system is the first, or default, OS in boot order. The Windows dialog does not even list the Linux system as a choice for demotion. Can you post additional clues?

    Thanks very much!


  4. April 21, 2009 at 10:21 am, Samuel Gomes said:

    Thank you very much, this was very helpfull :)


    • April 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm, John said:

      THANK YOU!


  5. May 12, 2009 at 9:40 am, Kevin Pratt said:

    Worked a treat. Just installed Windows 7 RC evaluation but wanted to keep XP as default. Son kept moaning why isn’t windows working! Thanks.


  6. June 19, 2009 at 10:32 am, Alex said:



  7. June 26, 2009 at 7:36 am, Terry said:

    The only option that shows is xp, but if i am away from the pc on startup it logs into windows 7


    • June 26, 2009 at 7:45 am, Terry said:

      Ok Got it. Changed the options within Windows 7. Works a treat. Thanks


  8. September 02, 2009 at 8:21 pm, Anonymous said:

    Thanks . I tried in bcdedit but didnt worked. This helped me


  9. December 06, 2009 at 2:50 am, Anonymous said:

    I did as suggested above, but I picked the wrong default OS. Now I can’t get back in to the preferred XP install to change it back. The other install was the beginnings of an XP install which I was trying to bypass, so I can’t change the default OS back.


  10. March 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm, Anonymous said:

    I have loaded 1- Windows XP-SP3, 2 -.Windows 7 And 3 – LINUX Mint.
    Now Mint has become default but I want Win XP SP-3 as deault.
    Please advise.



  11. March 29, 2010 at 9:58 am, Anonymous said:

    I have laptop with dual boot one is window xp in c drive and windows 7 in d drive.I have installed antivirus in c drive now i want to use it on d drive for windows 7 partition what should i do now please help me …..


  12. May 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm, Ken Milsom said:

    Did not help me.It only showed windows xp and windows xp tuneup backup – My windows 7 was not listed here I have both operating systems on their own hdd.
    HERE IT IS ?????

    ;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
    ;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /usepmtimer /TUTag=XWJ95U /Kernel=TUKernel.exe
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional (TuneUp Backup)” /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /usepmtimer /TUTag=XWJ95U-BAK


  13. June 04, 2010 at 12:41 am, kumar said:

    but nothing is there………….. what can i do?


  14. June 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm, travelman said:

    awesome man!! that was very helpful..u the man!


  15. June 29, 2010 at 6:38 am, Nn Kartik said:

    I have Windows 7 and XP set up in a dual boot situation.
    Is there a way to change the order of choices on the boot menu?
    The default is ” an earlier version of Windows”. I would like to have “Windows 7″ be the default.


  16. July 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm, Manohar budhwant said:

    Thanks for this info. It worked for me and saved my time……..


  17. September 04, 2010 at 8:07 am, Kenneth Woodward1 said:

    Works perfect on my Vista system……Thanks


  18. September 13, 2010 at 6:44 am, Anonymous said:

    i have 2 os ,linux redhat9 & windows xp sp2 that i change my windows 1 week ago .
    now linux can not boot & in –>Startup and Recovery –> Default operating system
    just exist 1 os (windows xp).
    please help me


  19. October 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm, Kuldeep_singh said:

    Thanks.worked for 7


  20. December 19, 2010 at 10:16 am, nibu a r said:

    Thank you so much


  21. February 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm, Jalsasubbu said:

    thank you so much………………….


  22. February 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm, Sashus said:

    Thank you so much!


  23. March 02, 2011 at 9:36 am, Valid said:

    Thanks for saving my system too :)


Leave a Reply