How to Change File Associations in Windows 10: A General Guide

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Welcome to our article about how to change file associations in Windows 10! If you have ever come across a file type that you cannot open on your computer because it is associated with the wrong program or app, then this article is for you. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of changing file associations in Windows 10. We will also provide you with helpful tips and tricks to make the process easier. So, let’s get started!

Steps

Step 1: Open Settings

The first step in changing file associations in Windows 10 is to open the Settings app on your computer. You can do this by clicking on the Start menu and selecting Settings. Alternatively, you can press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app quickly.

Step 2: Click on Apps

Once you have opened the Settings app, you will see a list of options. Click on the Apps option to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Select Default apps

In the Apps section, you will see several options, including Apps & features, Default apps, and Offline maps. Click on Default apps to proceed.

Step 4: Scroll down to Choose default apps by file type

In the Default apps section, you will see several options, including Email, Music player, Web browser, and more. Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see Choose default apps by file type and select it.

Step 5: Find the file type you want to change

In the Choose default apps by file type section, you will see a list of file types and the apps they are associated with. Find the file type you want to change, and click on the current default app.

Step 6: Select a new app

After clicking on the current default app, a pop-up menu will appear, showing the available apps that can open the file type. Select the app you want to use instead of the current default app.

Step 7: Repeat for other file types

If you want to change the file association for other file types, repeat steps 5 and 6 for each file type.

Step 8: Use Open with to change file associations

If you want to change the file association for a specific file rather than a file type, you can use the Open with option. Right-click on the file you want to change, and select Open with from the context menu.

Step 9: Choose another app

After selecting Open with, a pop-up window will appear, showing the available apps that can open the file. If the app you want to use is not on the list, click on More apps to see additional options.

Step 10: Check Always use this app to open .[file extension]

If you want to make the new app the default app for the file type, check the box that says Always use this app to open .[file extension]. This will ensure that all files with the same file extension are opened with the new app.

Step 11: Click OK

After selecting the new app, click OK to save the changes.

Step 12: Test the new file association

To ensure that the new file association has been set correctly, test it by double-clicking on a file with the same file extension. The file should now open with the new app you selected.

Explanation

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is important because it determines which app or program opens a specific file type. By default, Windows 10 associates file types with specific apps, but sometimes you may want to open a file type with a different app. For example, if you have a PDF file that you want to open with Adobe Reader instead of Microsoft Edge, you need to change the file association for the PDF file type. The steps outlined above help you change the file association for both specific files and file types.

Tips and Tricks

1. Create a backup of your file associations

Before you make any changes to your file associations, it is a good idea to create a backup in case anything goes wrong. You can do this by using a third-party program like FileTypesMan that allows you to export your current file associations.

2. Use the Open with option for a specific file

If you want to change the file association for a specific file rather than a file type, you can use the Open with option. Right-click on the file you want to change, and select Open with from the context menu.

3. Reset the default app for a file type

If you want to reset the default app for a specific file type to the original Windows 10 default app, click on Reset under the current default app.

4. Download an app to open a file type

If you do not have an app on your computer that can open a specific file type, you can download one from the Microsoft Store or another trusted website.

5. Use the Choose default apps by protocol option

If you want to change the default app for a specific protocol, such as HTTP or FTP, you can use the Choose default apps by protocol option in the Default apps section.

6. Use the Set defaults by app option

If you want to see a list of all the file types associated with a specific app, you can use the Set defaults by app option in the Default apps section.

7. Check for app updates

If an app is not opening a specific file type correctly, check for updates to the app as it may resolve the issue.

8. Use the Uninstall button to remove an app

If you want to remove an app from your computer and its associated file associations, use the Uninstall button under the app in the Apps & features section.

9. Use the Search bar to find file types quickly

If you need to find a specific file type quickly, use the Search bar in the Choose default apps by file type section.

10. Use the Feedback button to report issues

If you encounter any issues when changing file associations in Windows 10, use the Feedback button in the Settings app to report the issue to Microsoft.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing File Associations in Windows 10

Advantages:

1. Gives users more control over which programs open certain file types.

2. Can increase productivity by allowing users to work with their preferred software.

3. Makes it easier to manage file types and ensure they always open with the desired program.

4. Can improve the user’s overall computing experience by providing flexibility and customization.

5. Allows users to set default programs for file types they frequently work with, saving time in the future.

6. Can prevent privacy or security issues by ensuring that sensitive files are only opened with trusted software.

7. Offers more options for multimedia files, such as opening audio or video files in a preferred media player.

8. Can solve compatibility issues between different programs that may not otherwise be able to open certain file types.

9. Provides a personalized experience for each user, allowing them to optimize their workflow.

10. Gives users the ability to troubleshoot file associations issues that may arise.

Disadvantages:

1. May cause confusion and frustration for those who are not familiar with changing file associations.

2. Can cause unexpected behavior when opening files if the wrong program is associated with a certain file type.

3. Users may accidentally associate a file type with the wrong program, leading to problems with accessing important files.

4. Overloading the system with multiple programs to handle different file types may cause the computer to perform slower.

5. Changing file associations may result in broken links or shortcuts in the user’s system.

6. May cause the need for frequent updates or changes to file associations if new software is installed.

7. Some programs may refuse to work with certain file types if they are associated with a different program.

8. Changing file associations may require administrative privileges, limiting access for some users.

9. Certain file types may have limited options for default programs, making it difficult to personalize the experience.

10. May cause issues with file compatibility when transferring files to another computer or operating system.

FAQ

1. What is a file association?

A file association is the connection between a file type and the application that opens it. For example, MP3 files are associated with music player applications that play them.

2. How do I change file associations in Windows 10?

To change file associations in Windows 10, you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Right-click on the file you wish to open with a different application.
  2. Select “Open with” > “Choose another app”.
  3. Select the program you want to use and check “Always use this app to open [file extension]”.
  4. Click “OK”.

3. Can I change the default program for a file type?

Yes, you can change the default program for a file type. In the same way described above, select the “Set default programs” option instead of “Choose another app”. You can then choose the program you want to make the default for that file type.

4. What do I do if the program I want to use is not listed?

If the program you want to use is not listed, click “More apps” to see a complete list of installed applications. If the program is still not listed, click “Look for an app in the Store” to search for one online.

5. Can I change file associations for all files of a specific type?

Yes, to change file associations for all files of a specific type, click “Start” and search for “Default app settings”. Select “Choose default apps by file type”. Here you can choose the file type you want to modify and select the default program you want to use.

6. How do I remove a file association in Windows 10?

To remove a file association in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the file type.
  2. Select “Open with” > “Choose another app” > “Always use this app to open [file extension]”.
  3. Deselect “Always use this app to open [file extension]”.

7. Can I have multiple file associations for the same file type?

Yes, you can have multiple file associations for the same file type. Just repeat the steps described in question 2 and select the program you want to use.

8. How do I change file associations for a group of files?

If you want to change file associations for a group of files, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click “Start” and search for “File Explorer Options”.
  2. Select the “View” tab and scroll down to “Hide extensions for known file types”.
  3. Deselect the option and click “OK”.
  4. Select all the files you want to modify.
  5. Right-click on one of the files and select “Properties”.
  6. Select the “General” tab and click “Change” next to “Opens with”.
  7. Select your desired program and click “OK”.
  8. Click “Apply” and “OK” to save your changes.

9. How do I change file associations if I’m not the administrator?

If you’re not the administrator of your Windows 10 computer, you may not have permission to change file associations. You’ll need to ask the administrator to change the associations for you.

10. Why can’t I change the file associations in Windows 10?

You might not be able to change file associations in Windows 10 if you don’t have sufficient permissions, or if the file type is associated with a system process. You’ll need administrative rights or the assistance of an administrator to modify these types of file associations.

11. How can I reset file associations to their default settings?

To reset file associations to their default settings:

  1. Click “Start” and search for “Default app settings”.
  2. Select “Reset” under “Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults”.
  3. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

12. Will changing file associations affect my data?

No, changing file associations will not affect your data. It only affects which application opens the file. Your data will remain intact.

13. What should I do if changing a file association causes my computer to stop working correctly?

If changing a file association causes your computer to stop working correctly, you should restore your computer to a previous backup or restore point. Alternatively, you can seek the help of a professional computer technician to resolve the issue.

Conclusion

In conclusion, changing file associations in Windows 10 is a simple process that anyone can learn. Whether you want to make a specific program the default option for a certain file type, or simply want to change which app opens a particular file, Windows 10 makes it easy to customize your preferences. With the easy-to-follow steps we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able to change file associations with ease and keep your system running smoothly.

Closing

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to change file associations in Windows 10. We hope that our step-by-step guide has been helpful and informative, and that you now feel confident in your ability to customize your system to meet your needs. Should you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to consult the Windows 10 documentation or seek assistance online. Farewell, and best of luck in all your Windows 10 endeavors!