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.

  • Stefan

    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…

  • steve

    This is exactly what I am looking for.

  • DavidDStubbs

    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!

  • Samuel Gomes

    Thank you very much, this was very helpfull 🙂

    • John

      THANK YOU!

  • Kevin Pratt

    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.

  • Alex


  • Terry

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

    • Terry

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.


  • Anonymous

    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 …..

  • Ken Milsom

    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

  • kumar

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

  • travelman

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

  • Nn Kartik

    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.

  • Manohar budhwant

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

  • Kenneth Woodward1

    Works perfect on my Vista system……Thanks

  • Anonymous

    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

  • Kuldeep_singh

    Thanks.worked for 7

  • nibu a r

    Thank you so much

  • Jalsasubbu

    thank you so much………………….

  • Sashus

    Thank you so much!

  • Valid

    Thanks for saving my system too 🙂