Set or Change File Associations & Extensions in Windows 10

Each file in your Windows operating system has an extension in its filename, eg. .txt, .doc, etc. These extensions are used to identify the program, with which, windows can open this file. You can set or change these file associations in your Windows. In Windows XP you had this setting to change file type associations in Folder Options. In Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista you don’t see it there, though.

Change file associations in Windows 10

To set File Associations in Windows 10/8/7, Open Control Panel > Control Panel Home > Default Programs > Set Associations. Select a file type in the list and click Change Program.

You will be displayed a list of Programs along with a Description and the Current Default. You can click on the Change program to set or change the current defaults.

Alternatively, you can also right-click the file whose association you want to change > Properties > General tab > Type Of File > Change > Choose a program from the list or recommended or other programs or else click Browse to select one.

If you wish, you can also set, reset, change File Associations & extensions easily with this freeware.

Types is a free and lightweight configuration utility for Windows that allows you to edit program associations, icons, context menus and other properties of various file types displayed in Windows Explorer.

It is a worthwhile replacement for the inbuilt Windows file type utility.

In Windows 10, to set default apps you will have to go to Settings > Apps > Default apps. You can even choose default apps by file type or protocol and set defaults by the app.

set default apps windows 10

File association fix Windows

If you wish to fix file associations easily, you may want to check out our freeware File Association Fixer. Go here if you are unable to Change Default Program Extension on Windows. This post will help you fix broken EXE file associations.

Learn how to configure, export, import App File Associations in Windows using PC Settings and DISM Tool. This post will show you how to reset all File Associations to default in Windows 10.

Post ported from and updated and posted here.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.