Web Analytics

Sometimes you may find that you  go to open a file you work with regularly and it opens unexpectedly with a different program than what it usually does.

This typically happens after installing new software and that software assuming you want it to do the job from now on.

Ever since back in the day at school, .bmp files for me, have always opened with MS Paint.  After installing Adobe CS4, the association changed, .bmp files now open with Photoshop.  This is something i always forget until it’s too late.  I double click the .bmp file and a nano second after I do it, I know I’ve forgotten to change the file association and have to wait for what seems like an eternity for PS to open, when all I ever wanted was to open it in trusty Paint.

This guide is going to show you how to change these associations or protocols to your liking.

Step 1.

Click the Start Orb and select Default Programs

Step 2.

Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program

Step 3.

You’ll now see 3 columns, the name of the file type or protocol, a description of it and the current default program associated with said file type or protocol.

In this example I’ll be changing .bmp from opening  with Adobe Photoshop to MS Paint.

Select the file type you want to change and click Change program…

Step 4.

You can now either select one of the recommended programs Windows suggests, or you can browse for the program (typically in %ProgramFiles%).  Browsing won’t be necessary in this case, selecting Paint from the recommended list is all that is required.

Click OK and your file will from now on, open with your specified program.

Close the window when you have done, and that’s all there is to it… simple!!

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


5 thoughts on “Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program in Windows 7 [How To]”

  1. Guest says:

    Yeah, that's pretty simple. But how do you make a NEW association with a program for an extension that doesn't already exist on the list? Better yet, how do you associate a NEW *protocol* with an application?? This is not possible in Windows 7 as far as I can tell.

  2. Rich says:

    I'm pretty sure you'd have to jump in the registry to do this, but why would you want to?

    1. Guest says:

      Because there is no association for mailto: URLs and MS documentation just gives me the runaround.

      1. Rich says:

        Which mail client are you using?

  3. kactamus says:

    Simple na ah, ok try a make .afi associate with notepad.

Comments are closed.

Computer tips in your inbox
Sign up for the Windows Guides newsletter to get PC tips and access to free Windows books (More details)

Subscribe now
Popular Guides

See which sites have been visited on your PC (even if private browsing mode is used)

Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Best Free Anti-malware

Hibernate vs. Sleep vs. Shut-Down

i3, i5, and i7; Dual, Quad, Hexa Core Processors. How to they Differ?

Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor: new Features

Windows Guides on Facebook