Windows 7

Don't Like How Songs, Photos, Videos or Webpages are Opened?

SUMMARY: Tired of webpages opening in a particular browser, or movies in an old multimedia player you no longer use? Change these associations in Windows 7.

When installing and uninstalling software on Windows 7, you may note that files that used to open in one program now pop up in other software. For example, install a new text editor or notepad replacement tool and you may notice that text files open up in said tool instead of Windows Notepad. Install a multimedia player and your songs and videos may not open in Windows Media Player anymore. Run a new web browser and your web pages may appear differently than how you remembered.

While many applications ask you before making such changes, you may accidentally gloss over such screens when installing them. Plus, some software may just make the changes for you. Thus, if you want to open files in different software packages, do the following:

There are several ways to get to this feature such as navigating through the "Control Panel". Read the end of this tip for another shortcut that works if you only wish to change one filetype's association.

1. Click the "Start" button.

2. Inside the "Search program and files" box, type in associations without pressing Enter.

3. When "Make a file type always open in a specific program" appears, click it.

4. The "Set Associations" dialog box appears. Scroll down to a file extension and double-click it (or click it once and then click the "Change program" button). You can also type in an extension (including the period) to jump to it, if desired.

If needed, scroll down to the bottom to find "Protocols" associated with applications such as "HTTP" and "HTTPS" (for web pages) or "MAILTO" for electronic mail.

The Windows 7 "Set Associations" dialog

5. An "Open with" dialog appears. Choose the application you wish to use to open the specific filetype from the list of "Recommended" or "Other" programs, or click the "Browse" button and navigate your computer to find the desired application.

Changing the file association in Windows 7 for .MP3 music files

6. When done, click "OK" on the "Open with" dialog box to close it, and when done changing associations, click "Close" on the "Set Associations" dialog box.

NOTE: If you only wish to change one particular file type, there is an easier way. Right-click a file and select "Open with" - "Choose default program" (or just "Open with..."). The "Open with" dialog box will appear for the selected file type. Make sure the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" checkbox is checked before clicking "OK" to ensure Windows 7 will always use your selection.

Using Windows 7's right-click "Open with" feature to change a particular filetype's association

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.