Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to Change Or Fix A Bad File Association - Windows 7

Fixing or changing a file association is very simple. For example, if you accidentally associated .pdf files with a program that cannot open them, you can change the association back to Adobe Reader (or another PDF reader that can open them). Simply follow this procedure:

  • Right-click the respective file, for example a PDF file.
  • Select > Open With from the right-click menu.
windows 7 change file association

  • The > Open with window will open and now you can either pick a program from the list of >Other Programs or click the > Browse… button and find the application you want to open this file type with.
windows 7 change file association

  • If you want to make the change permanent, check the box next to > Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.
windows 7 change file association

  • Finally, click > OK and, given you checked the respective box, all your PDF files should now open with the program of your choice.
If you want to get an overview of all file associations on your computer or change several at once, you can go to > Start > Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs > Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program. Here you can browse all file types. Click on > Change program…to pick a new tool to open the respective file type.
file associations windows 7

Note that .lnk files should not be associated with a specific program (unknown application) and hence you cannot fix a broken .lnk file association this way!

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