Modify File Associations On Windows 7

I recently updated iTunes and QuickTime on my Windows 7 PC and afterwards noticed that when opening a .PSD (Photoshop Document) file that instead of opening in Photoshop the file opened in PictureViewer. I wasn’t even familiar with PictureViewer at first however after a little searching I realized that PictureViewer is now installed with QuickTime by default which is really annoying since I already have dozens of picture viewing applications. Anyhow what it meant was that I needed to modify how file types associated to applications which is what is described in more detail. I will first describe how to change a single file type to match a single application and then I will describe how to associate a single program to many file types at the same time.

Modify The Application That Is Associated To A Specific File Type:

An example of a file association would be a .psd file that is typically opened by Photoshop however it can be modified to be opened by another application by default which in this example is PictureViewer. Follow the steps below to change the file association from PictureViewer back too Adobe Photoshop.

  1. Windows 7 Control Panel: First open the Windows 7 Control Panel by clicking the Start Menu icon in the lower left corner of your computer. Select the Control Panel from the pop up menu to display the Windows 7 Control Panel as shown in the example image below.

    Windows 7 Control Panel

  2. Windows 7 Default Programs: Click the Default Programs option from the Control Panel screen displayed above to open the Windows 7 Default Programs configuration window displayed below.

    Windows 7 Control Panel: Default Programs

  3. File Type Associations: Now from the Default Programs screen displayed in the example image above click on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” to open the Set Associations configuration window which will look similar to the below.

    Control Panel: Default Programs: Set Associations

  4. Modify Default Program: Locate the file type you want to modify the default program for by using the scrollbar on the right side of the Set Associations configuration window. In this example we want to modify the application associated to .PSD or Photoshop Document files. So scroll down to “.psd – Photoshop Image”, click it to highlight the file type, and then click the Change Program button located at he top right of the Set Associations window to open the Open With configuration window as shown below.

    Windows 7 File Association: Open With

    In this example we would simple highlight Adobe Photoshop by clicking on it and then clicking the OK button at the bottom of the Open With configuration window. You may be required to search for the application either by expanding the Other Programs section or by clicking the Browse button and locating the actual application executable (.exe) file.

  5. Verify File Type Association: After clicking the OK button from the Open With window the list of file types in the Set Associations configuration window will be refreshed. Verify that .psd is now associated with Photoshop as shown in the below example image.

    PSD File Type Association To Photoshop

You have now successfully changed a single file type to be associated with the program you selected however if you want to change numerous file types to open with a single application it would take a long time using the method above. Instead of associating each file type to the same application you can use the method below to associate many file types to a single application at one time.

Associate Many File Types To A Single Application On Windows 7:

  1. Set Your Default Programs: Open the Set Default Programs configuration window by first following steps one and two from the previous section. Instead of opening the Set Associations configuration window click on Set Your Default Programs to open the Set Default Programs configuration window shown in the example image below.

    Windows 7: Set Your Default Programs

    If the program you want to associate many file types to is not in the list you will have to either use the first method describe above for each file type or follow the directions of this article to register the program by modifying the registry.

  2. Select Application: Click on the application you want to associate file types to. In this example we will use Paint as shown in the below example image.

    Associate File Types For MS Paint

  3. Set File Type Associations: Now click on “Choose defaults for this program” which will open the “Set associations for this program” configuration window as shown in the below image.

    Set Associations For This Program: Windows 7

    Check or remove the check from the file types you want or don’t want associated with MS Paint. Once you have made all of your selections click the Save button located in the bottom right corner of the Set Program Associations configuration window. This will take you back to the previous screen which is the Set Default Programs configuration window.

That is all you have to do to modify the file type associations on Windows 7.


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