How to Review File Associations in Windows - dummies

How to Review File Associations in Windows

By Dan Gookin

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, you can easily review all known file associations on your PC. (Windows XP lacks this convenient feature.) From the window where you can review the file associations, you can also change them if you wish.

Heed these directions:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Choose Programs and then, beneath the Default Programs heading, choose Make a File Type Always Open in a Specific Program.

    After a spell, a list appears in a window. The list is populated with all known filename extensions on your computer, along with descriptions and their associated programs.


    To change which program is associated with a filename extension, continue with these steps:

  3. Select the extension or file type description you want to change.

    For example, .bmp represents a Windows Paint file.

  4. Click the Change Program button.

    The notorious Open With window appears. It lists programs recommended for opening the file type — programs known to be compatible.

  5. Choose the proper program from the list.

    If you prefer that .bmp files open in Paint, not in the Windows Photo Viewer, Windows Photo Gallery, Picture Viewer, or anything else, make that known now.

    If the program you want to use isn’t listed, you can employ the Browse button to hunt it down. Be careful! You must be certain that the program you browse to can open files of the type you’ve selected.

  6. Click OK.

    The file type is re-associated.

  7. Close the Set Associations window when you’re done.