If you want to change the default boot OS to Windows XP, Vista or Ubuntu, you don’t really need to know much. Let’s take a closer look at bcdedit, which accepts a few commands to set the default boot OS.


Change default Boot OS

I’m running Windows 7 on my PC and Windows XP + Ubuntu on my laptop. Now, let’s say I’d install Windows 7 on my laptop as well, then I could use bcdedit to change the default boot OS to Windows 7.

For starters, let’s take a look at bcdedit.

1. Step Open an elevated command prompt
2. Step Enter bcdedit
3. Step Something similar to this should appear on your screen:

Windows Boot Manager Settings

Listed under Windows Boot Manager you will see the entry “default” ,which is exactly what we want to modify – the default boot OS!

Now, let’s assume you have several operating systems installed, then you have to take a closer look at the identifier of each OS.

Change Default Boot OS Command

You can use the command bcdedit /default {identifier} to change the default operating system.

What Is The Boot Identifier?

Take a closer look at the Windows Boot Loader identifier – listed under Windows Boot Loader:
Windows Boot Loader Indentifier

It says {current} – this WILL be different if you have also installed Vista. It could look similar to {d846a017-6391-11df-9f11-dd9db719a8ef}. The Windows XP identifier will be {ntldr}.

Examples – Change Default Boot OS to Vista or XP

Important: The Vista example below will not work on your system, because your identifier will be different, you need to enter bcdedit into an elevated command prompt and take a look at YOUR identifier (ID), listed under Windows Boot Loader (it is not {bootmgr}).

Windows Vista: bcdedit /default {d846a017-6391-11df-9f11-dd9db719a8ef}
Windows XP: bcdedit /default {ntldr}