Default Programs

ByLine
How to Associate a Individual File Extension Type With a Program in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to associate a file extension type or protocol to open with a program that you want it to open with by default.
How to Associate a File Extension Type With a Program in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to associate a file extension type or protocol to open with a program that you want it to open with by default.

These Default Programs association settings are a per user setting and not applied to all users.

Note   Note
The program you select will need to be able to support that file extension for it to open it. For example, .TXT with Notepad or Wordpad. It would not open with MSPaint.






METHOD ONE
Through a Download

1. Go to the link below to select a file extension to download a .reg file for to merge and restore it's default associations for.​




METHOD TWO
Through Open With
Tip   Tip
To add a program to the Open With menu list, see METHOD TWO here: How to Add a Program to Open With in Vista

1. Right click on a file, with the file extension type you want to change, that you want to open.​
2. Click on Open With and click on the program you want to open it if listed. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will only open the file with the selected program for just this one time.​
Open_With.jpg

3. If the program is not listed, then click on Choose Default Program. (See screenshot above)​
A) Click on the Browse button. (See screenshot below)​
Open with.jpg

B) Navigate to the program's .exe location that you want to open the file and select it. (See screenshot below)​
C) Click on Open.​
Browse.jpg


4. To Make this the Default Program to Open this File Extension -
A) Check the Always use the selected program to open this kind of program box. (See screenshot below step 3A)​
B) Go to step 6.​

5. To Open this File Extension with this Program for just this Time Only -
A) Uncheck the Always use the selected program to open this kind of program box. (See screenshot below step 3A)​

6. Click on OK. (See screenshot below step 3A)​



METHOD THREE
Through Default Programs

1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
2. Click on the Default Programs icon.​
3. Click on the Associate a file type or protocol with a program link. (See screenshot below)​
Default.jpg

4. Click on the file extension type you want to change the association for what .exe program opens it. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: It may take a moment to load up.
5. Click on the Change Program button.​
Set Associations.jpg

6. If listed, select the program you want to be associated with (opens) the file extension. (See screenshot below)​
A) Check the Always use the selected program to open this kind of program box and click OK.​

7. If the program is not listed, then click the Browse button and navigate to the .exe of the program you want as the default to open the file extension.​
Open with.jpg
A) Select the program.​
B) Click on the Open button. (See screenshot below)​
Browse.jpg

C) Check the Always use the selected program to open this kind of program box and click on OK to apply. (See screenshot below step 7)​

That's it,
Shawn





 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hello

Can u tell me please , what is the Default program that open EXE Files !

i have this problem here in my Windows Vista , whereas MSN Messenger is the Default program for EXE Files ,

i Can not Open any program ! , even system Restore !!!!!
 
Last edited:
Thank you very much for the problem's solving URL & for ur welcome , It Works good with me . :)

Now i dont have to reinstall Vista again
 
Hi
I have a problem with the association files
I have 2 computers that run vista 32 home, and with one I can open the .dat files with notepad, and with the other one I can too but there is no way to save the association between notepad and .dat

The Always use the selected program to open this kind of program box is alwaus grey and I can't clic it in

the computer is brand new and it's an Acer, I'm admin on it and tryed lot things but nothing to do

I tested all that is in this great tread but it didn't helped me

Do you have any idea ?

Thanks

Peter
 
Hi Peter, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Try Method Two to see if you can manually set the .dat file extension to have the Current program set at Notepad (C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe).

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hi
thanks for fast reply on an old post

I forgot to say I tryed it
.dat is not in list so I can't do the change program

My problem is that the "always use ..." box is disabled, don't know why, I looked all the settings in the computer, I'm admin on it but no way to find out

Thank you for help
 
Peter,

A .DAT file is a file that has arbitrary data. Which means it’s not associated with any one particular program or application. That would be why it's not listed and will not let you check the "Always open with" box.

While it's best to open a .dat file with the program that created, Notepad or WordPad may be able to let you see some of the data in the file without it being a garbled mess.
 
Yes sure I can open it with notepad
I tell each time manually to vista to open it, it looks for a program then I tell him with notepad and it works
My problem is that I have to open one thousand .dat files everyday, and it would be very easier for me to double clic on it to open it, and not to loose time to tell vista to open it with notepad
I have 2 comps here and I'm working with the old one that is really slow but it opens the file with a double clic, there is vista on it also and .dat is listed in the association box ... Now I bought a brand new and fast computer and I just want it to open the files like the old one does

I'm just unable to explain why the box is grey and I can't clic it

Thanks

Peter
 
Peter,

The problem is that you do not want .dat files to be associated to be opened by only on default program. Since these are data files, doing so may cause a program to no longer work since that specific program will no longer be able to open it's .dat files for it. :(
 
Peter,

The problem is that you do not want .dat files to be associated to be opened by only on default program. Since these are data files, doing so may cause a program to no longer work since that specific program will no longer be able to open it's .dat files for it. :(
Peter,

Vista will not let .dat files be associated to just one program as per the stated reason above. :(

You can only manually "Open With" a single .dat file at a time with a program you want instead.
 
Ok, but I can with my other computer and vista ...
sometimes there are curious things with computers ;)

Thanks you Brink for your help, explanations and time

Peter
 
Hey, my DLL files have been associated with Windows explorer by mistake, and if i double click them by mistake, it keeps opening multiple explorer processes non-stop til i shut down. DLL files arent listed in default programs, so i dont know how to reset it. please help!!!
thanks in advance
 
hi again, I just realized that DLL files now have the default icon (the blank page). Aren't they supposed to have a kind of page with gears on it? How do I get the icon back? I tried resetting the icon cache, but it didnt help...
 
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