Apr 02

Change file association with windows default programs

What is file association?

Have you accidentally removed the file association for file and you now cant open the file you want because it is opening in another program?

File association is when a particular type of file is associated with a particular program. Sometimes that association can become corrupted or accidentally changed to another program making the file unreadable. This is not unusual all that has happened is that the file you want to open has been associated with some other program or no program at all in some cases. For example PDF may have lost its association with adobe meaning that the computer does not know what program opens that type of file.

This short tutorial will show you how to change the file association in default programs. This is also useful if you have numerous programs that can open the same file but you want to change the default program to something different.

Firstly go to your start/windows button and select control panel.

Once at the control panel screen you need to change the view to large icons to make it easier to find the setting we want. In the top right corner click view by and change to large icons. Then click Default Programs.

The next screen show has a number of options but we are only interested in the file association option so choose that one (circled)

On the next screen we are given a list of all file types (extensions) in alphabetical order and the programs that is currently associated with that file type. For example if we scroll down to PDF we can see that the program associated with a PDF is adobe reader.

You can change the file association of that file by simply clicking the change program button above the list. This will present you with a new screen where you can  choose the program you want to open a PDF. There are also further options under other programs. If the program you want is not shown you can use the browse button to find the program on your computer.

Be aware that if you change the file association of a file to something that cannot read that file then that file will become unreadable and you will have to associate it again using the same process with another program.