How to Change File Associations in Windows 7,8 and10.
How does Windows know which application or program to use to open all types of files on your computer? It all comes down to file associations. Windows associates each type of file with a program capable of opening such files, but you have a choice too!
Imagine, for example, that you have just installed Adobe Photoshop on your computer. From now on, you want Windows to use Photoshop to open .jpg files, but currently, Windows always opens .jpg files using the default Photos app included in Windows 10.
Below, we’ll show you several ways to change file associations in Windows 10 so that your files open in whichever application you prefer.
How to Change Windows 10 File Associations in File Explorer
One way to tell Windows which application should open a particular file is through File Explorer. In the example below, JPG files open in Microsoft Photos and we will change the file association so that JPG files open in Adobe Photoshop.
- Open File Explorer. An easy way to do this is to press Win + E.
- Navigate to the folder containing the file whose association you want to change.
- Right-click the file and choose Open With. (Note: If you don’t see “Open With”, hold down Shift and then right-click the file.)
- Even though you see a program in the list that you want to associate with that file type. , select Choose another app. (If you simply select a program from the displayed list, this time the file will open in that application, but the default file association remains unchanged.
- A pop-up window will appear asking how you would like to open this file. Select the application you want to associate with your file type and check the “Always use this application to open [file type]” checkbox.
- Note. If you don’t see the app you want to associate with this file type in the Other options list, scroll down and select Search for an app in the Microsoft Store. Alternatively, if you already have a program installed that is not listed, select More Apps and navigate to the desired app.
- After selecting the program you want to associate with this file type, click OK. From now on, files of this type will automatically open in the application of your choice.
Another Way to Change Windows 10 File Associations in the File Explorer
Windows Explorer offers a second way to specify which program should open a particular file type. This method works as well as the one described above. It’s up to you how you want to do it.
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the file whose association you want to change.
- Select a file and make sure the main menu tab is active. On the toolbar ribbon, select Properties. (Or right-click the file and select Properties.)
- In the Properties panel, click the Edit button.
- Continue from step 5 of method A above.
Change File Associations via the Control Panel
You can also use Control Panel to change file associations in Windows 10. Here’s how to do it.
- Open the control panel. An easy way to do this is to press Win + R, type control and then click OK.
- Select default programs.
- Then select Associate File Type or Protocol with Program.
- In the Default Applications window that opens, select Select Default Applications by File Type.
- Then find the file type in the list on the left under the “Name” heading. In our example, we will be looking for .jpg.
- Select the default program to the right of the file type association you want to change. The Select Application panel appears. Select the app you want to associate with the file type and you’re done!
Changing File Associations in Windows Settings
Sometimes you may want the application to open all possible files. In this case, instead of associating file types with an application one by one, you can tell Windows to use that application to open any file it can handle.
For example, you might want your favorite web browser to open web pages regardless of the file type. Here’s how to do it.
- Open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I.
- Select Applications.
- From the list on the left, select Default Applications.
- You can now choose default applications for things like email, maps, music, photos, videos, or the web browser. Let’s change the default web browser from Google Chrome so that all types of web page files are bundled with Firefox. In your web browser, select the default app from the list. In this case, it’s Google Chrome.
- Then select the required application from the list. We’ll choose Firefox.
That’s all! Firefox is now bundled with all types of files it can handle.
Bonus: How to View File Extensions in Windows 10 File Explorer
In the previous section, we looked for file extensions in the list. If you use this method, you will need to know the file extension that you want to associate with a particular application.
Configuring Windows Explorer to display file extensions in file names is quick and easy. Just open File Explorer by pressing Win + E. Then select the View tab on the menu ribbon. Finally, check the box next to the file name extension.
Now you should be able to see the extension of any file in that folder.
Save Yourself Some Time
By following one of the above methods, you will save extra time and frustration. Take the time to change your file associations so that your files open in the apps you want – this is a gift you can give yourself in the future!
How to Change File Associations in Windows 7,8 and10
How to Change File Associations in Windows 7,8 and10,