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

Logging In with Local vs. Microsoft Credentials

In Windows 10, you can choose to login using your local account or by using your Microsoft credentials. How to switch ...

Discover More

Pinning a Shortcut to the Taskbar

It's usually easy to pin items to the Taskbar. But if what you want to pin is not a shortcut to an application? This tip ...

Discover More

Turning On the Display of File Extensions

Windows is configured, by default, to hide file extensions. This could be confusing or outright dangerous. For example, ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Breaking a Network Drive Mapping Association

Windows makes it easy to break the association between a network drive and its assigned letter. This tip explains how.

Discover More

Changing User Permissions for a File

All objects on your computer (e.g., files) have permissions that allow or deny various types of access. This tip shows ...

Discover More

Defragmenting a Hard Drive

As files are added, removed, and edited on a hard drive, the files and the disk itself become fragmented. This causes ...

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 2 + 2?

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.