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Julian Nelson
Julian Nelson

Adjust File Type Associations



Many types of files can be opened by more than one program. For example, you can open a photo with the Photos program or with Paint, among others. Follow these steps to change the default program that Windows uses to open each type of file.




Adjust file type associations



Each file in your Windows operating system has an extension in its filename, eg. .txt, .doc, etc. These extensions are used to identify the program, with which, windows can open this file. You can set or change these file associations in your Windows 11 or Windows 10 OS. Change file associations in Windows 11/101] Using Settingsif(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[300,250],'thewindowsclub_com-box-4','ezslot_3',826,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-thewindowsclub_com-box-4-0');In later versions of Windows 10, you will have to do the following to change File Associations & Extensions:Open Windows 10 SettingsSelect AppsClick Default appsScroll down and click on the blue Choose default apps by file type link.Make your changes here.if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[300,250],'thewindowsclub_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',829,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-thewindowsclub_com-medrectangle-4-0');You can even choose default apps by file type or protocol and set defaults by the app.To choose default apps by file type in Windows 11, do the following:Press Win+I to open Windows Settings.Go to Apps > Default apps.Click the Choose defaults by file type option.Select a file type or extension.Choose an app you want to set as default.TIP: This post will help you if you cannot associate a File Type with a Program.2] Using File PropertiesYou can also right-click the file whose association you want to change > Properties > General tab > Type Of File > Change > Choose a program from the list or recommended or other programs or else click Browse to select one.3] Via File ExplorerSelect the file in Explorer, right-click on it, select Open with, and choose the program or select Choose another app as required.4] Using Control PanelTo set File Associations in Windows 10/8/7 using Control Panel:if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[728,90],'thewindowsclub_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',819,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-thewindowsclub_com-banner-1-0');Open Control PanelClick Control Panel HomeSelect Default ProgramsClick Set AssociationsSelect a file type in the list and click Change Program.You will be displayed a list of Programs along with a Description and the Current Default. You can click on the Change program to set or change the current default programs.5] Using freeware TypesIf you wish, you can also set, reset, change File Associations & extensions easily with this freeware.Types is a free and lightweight configuration utility for Windows that allows you to edit program associations, icons, context menus and other properties of various file types displayed in Windows Explorer.It is a worthwhile replacement for the inbuilt Windows file type utility.Read: How to remove File Type Associations using Registry EditorFile association fix WindowsIf you wish to fix file associations easily, you may want to check out our freeware File Association Fixer. Go here if you are unable to change the Default Program Extension. This post will help you fix broken EXE file associations.You can also configure, export, import App File Associations in Windows using Settings and DISM Tool. This post will show you how to reset all File Associations to default in Windows.


If you've ever run into the problem of Windows trying to open up a file in entirely the wrong application, you're not alone. Although you can get around it using the "Open With" command, there is a way to make sure you don't have to do that every time: Learn how to change file associations.


Step 7: Choose your preferred application from the list that appears and click its corresponding icon. In the case of some file types, there will be multiple options, whereas others may have none.


You'll only see this link if you're on the Category or Control Panel Home view of Control Panel. Otherwise, choose Default Programs instead, followed by Associate a file type or protocol with a program link. Skip to Step 4.


The most common programs that support this particular file type will be listed under the Recommended Programs or Programs list, but there may be other programs that support the file as well, in which case you can manually select one with the Browse button.


Microsoft uses file associations to set default programs for opening different file types on all its operating systems. As a result, when you open a file, be it text, image, or document, on your Windows PC, it automatically opens that file in a compatible program.


Windows 10 Settings offers a more granular way of managing file associations on your PC. It presents you with all the different file types in use so you can change their default programs with ease. Moreover, you also get the ability to change the default apps for email, music, maps, and web browsing, among others.


With this method, you can also choose the Choose default apps by protocol and Set defaults by app options in step 2. While the former allows you to choose the default program for actions or links, the latter lets you manage an entire program (associated file types and protocols).


To view file associations in Windows 10, open File Explorer and navigate to the folder that contains files of the file type you want to modify. Next, right-click on a file and select Properties from the menu. In the Properties window, check the values against the Type of file and Opens with fields.


Alternatively, go to Settings (Windows + I) > Apps > Default apps. Here, tap on Choose default apps by file type to view the entire list of file type associations on your Windows 10 PC.


When a program is installed in Windows, if configures itself as the default handler for the types of files it knows how to open. For example, Word will associate itself with .docx files, Excel with .xlsx, and VLC Media Player with .mp4 files.


Windows allows you to change file associations by going into Settings > Apps > Default Apps and selecting at the bottom the option titled "Choose default apps by file type".


Rather than having to specify which program you want to use to open a file every time you access it, Windows assigns each file type a default program. These defaults can be changed by the user, or a program could set its own when installed.


Now select the application from the list that you want to use to open the file type of the file you've chosen. If you don't see the program you need, scroll down and select More apps for a wider selection.


Windows 10 has been known to reset default apps by changing file type associations after every update. The best thing you can do to fix this is back up your file type associations and restore them once you discover that a Windows 10 update has messed with them.


You can also go directly into the registry to back up file type associations. However, this is a bit more complicated, and it can sometimes result in a permission error when restoring certain associations. As such, use it as a last resort.


With these methods you'll have full control over your file type associations, ensuring that all your files open in the most suitable program by default. Be wary when installing a new program as some of them will request to become the default program for a set of file types, and you might not want that.


You can set specific file extensions to open in Internet Explorer mode by default using the policy to Set a default associations configuration file. For more information, see Policy CSP - ApplicationDefaults.


5. Click the program thatyou want to use as the default for the file type you selected, or click thearrow next to Other Programs to show additional programs. (Ifyou don't see Other Programs, or your program is not listed,click Browse to find the program you want to use, and thenclick Open. If no other programs are installed that are able toopen the file type or protocol, your choices will be limited.)


UPDATE 02.10.2018: Version 1.7.1 fixed false positive detections for some AV (incl. Defender)UPDATE 23.08.2018: Version 1.7 adds get and del parameters, comment char # for config files, EULAUPDATE 17.06.2018: Version 1.6 adds support for protocols (except http and https) on build 1607 and lowerUPDATE 14.12.2017: Version 1.5 adds support for Windows 8.x and Server 2012/R2UPDATE 10.12.2017: Version 1.4 adds support for protocols like mailto, https, etc. (only for 1703 and up)UPDATE 26.11.2017: Version 1.3 can now set multiple file type associations based on a config file.UPDATE 04.11.2017: Version 1.2 completely rewritten in C to avoid AV false positives.UPDATE 29.10.2017: Version 1.1.1 includes small changes due AV false positive detections.UPDATE 28.10.2017: Version 1.1 can now check for Group Memberships.


ATTENTION: Windows 1803 and 1809 have an issue with file type associations after the october update. Microsoft is working on a resolution and estimates a solution will be available in late November 2018. UPDATE 06.12.2018: Microsoft has released a fix for 1803 (KB4467682) and (KB4469342) for 1809.


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