GENERAL: What does “Default” actually mean?


The word “Default” is such a well used word in the computer world, its easy to forget that the majority of new IT users have never really heard of it! 

As such, when people see “default” in text or even on screen, the actual context isn’t really known.

So what does “Default” mean?

Default in the computer world means “The answer the computer will assume unless you tell it otherwise”

For example:-

  • The default tune the computer makes when it starts up is the same for everyone, unless they have changed it.
  • The default font/size that Microsoft Word uses is the same for every document unless you change it to what you want.
  • The default language the computer uses to communicate with you is English, unless you tell it otherwise (please don’t!! :) )

There are occasions where YOU can CHANGE THE DEFAULT.  For instance, in Word, if you actually want to write all your documents in FONT SIZE 14 for some reason, then you can change the DEFAULTS so that all future documents will be size 14 unless you then tell it otherwise. 

Defaults are very powerful as if set correctly it saves you from having to make the same changes each time you do something.  Generally, for the new user, the pre defined defaults meet most peoples needs until they become more advanced.