Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Modifying File Associations
You can access all of these options by clicking the down arrow to the right
of the quick access toolbar on the title bar of any open File Explorer window.
Then, check the item you want to display by selecting it.
Modifying File Associations
Every time you click a file, Windows checks the registry to find the default
program to open the file. Then, Windows loads that application and tells the
application which file to open. This is something that you encounter almost
all the time when you are using your computer. Often, when you install many
programs on your computer, programs start to compete over which is going to
be the default program to open a file.
One of the most common situations for this is when you install a bunch of
similar applications. For example, I primarily use WinAmp for playing my
music. When Apple releases a new version of iTunes, however, I usually install
it to check out the new features. The next time that I try to play a CD or listen
to an MP3, the music always opens in iTunes. My file association for my music
has been stolen by iTunes. How do I take control of my file associations again?
The following two sections show you how you can customize the default launch
application for any file type on your computer, as well as how your file types look.
Windows Explorer uses information stored in the registry to find out what
application is used to open a specific file type. This information is stored in the
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT section. With the Registry Editor, it is possible to browse
to that key and find the file type that you want to change and edit some keys.
However, there is a better way to do this in Windows 8.
Windows 8’s Default Programs utility enables you to change file association
information without having to deal with the registry class ID. Just follow these
steps to change the default launch app for any file type:
1. Open the Start screen, type Default Programs , and hit Enter.
2. When the Default Programs utility loads, select Associate A File Type Or
Protocol With A Program.
3. Scroll through the list and select the file type you want to change, as shown
in Figure 9-4.
4. Click Change Program.
5. The program to which you want to change may be on the default Open
With list. If not, just click More Options, scroll down, and then select Look
For Another App On This PC.
6. Click Close.
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