Removing a File Type Program Association

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 5, 2016)

One of the interesting things about Windows is that a file's "type" determines what program is used to open that file. For example, .txt files are, by default, opened with Notepad. If you have Microsoft Office installed, .docx files are opened with Microsoft Word, etc. You may, however, not want the default program to be used with a particular file type.

Unfortunately, without the use of third-party tools, there is no way to remove a file type program association. The best we can do is to change the association to another program. To do this, go to the Control Panel and click on Default Programs. (In some versions of Windows you may need to click on Programs before you can click on Default Programs.) (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Seeing existing file type associations.

Click the Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program link. Windows displays the Set Associations screen which lists all the file types that your system knows about and the programs with which they are associated. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Changing file type association.

To make a change, click on the extension whose default program you want to change and then click the Change Program button. You are then presented with an "Open With" dialog box that looks very much like a standard Open dialog box. Use the controls in the dialog box to select a displayed program or browse to the program that you want to associate with the extension. Once you select the program, OK your way out, and now that file extension will be associated with the program you chose.

 This tip (12827) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

What are the Limits on File Names?

It's good to know what the limits are when naming files, although in most cases the limits are sufficiently high that ...

Discover More

Swapping Mouse Buttons for Left-Handed Users

By default, the mouse is configured such that the primary mouse button is the left one, and the secondary mouse button is ...

Discover More

Understanding Windows SIDs

This tip presents some information about Windows SIDs (Security Identifiers) and shows you some tools that you can use to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Displaying Details about an Audio File

Audio files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these ...

Discover More

How to Change Drive Letters

Windows is quite configurable. It even allows you to change the drive letters associated with your disk drives. Although ...

Discover More

Using Offline Files

If you need access to files on a network but aren't always on the network, you may find that the offline files feature of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.