Associate a File Type with a Windows Program

file-associations-vista

How the heck do I change my File Associations in Vista?

It always happens to us. You have your favorite media player, graphics editor, HTML editor or whatever, and you install the latest codec or optional tool. Then suddenly your world is thrown into chaos: MP3 files open with an audio editor, images are opened with a program that takes 5 minutes to load, the sky turns red and Nazis are riding on dinosaurs!

This happens to me at least once a week. Somehow my default file associations get screwed up by something, which becomes a major inconvenience. In Windows XP it was very easy to modify File Associations by clicking View and Folder Options. In Windows Vista there isn’t even a menu, or even a File Types tab… the option doesn’t even appear if you right-click on the file. How do I change my File Associations now?

They are now handled by a new Set Associations window in Vista. To access the Set Associations window, follow these steps:


1. Click the Start button.

2. Select Control Panel.

3. Select Programs.

4. Under Default Programs, select Make a file type always open in a specific program.

The Set Associations window will appear, allowing you to change what program a file type is associated with by selecting the file type and clicking the Change program button.

If you are only looking to change a single file type, simply right-click on a file and select Properties. Under the General tab, click the Change button to select the desired program.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.