How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

In this tutorial I’m going to explain How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10. Sometimes when you start a program, you mistakenly select the wrong program and set it to default and you only wanted to use that program to open that file type only that time.

Using this tutorial I will show you how to reset file associations in Windows 10.

There are two methods, one for setting a specific file type to a program, and the other to reset all file associations of one program back to that program.

How to Reset File Associations of a File in Windows 10

If you only want to reset the file association of one specific file type then this is the best method to use.

1. Browse to any file of the file type you want to reset, for example I will use a TXT file in this tutorial

2. Right-click the file and choose Open With and then click on “Choose a Default Program”

Open With » Choose a Default Program
Open With » Choose a Default Program

3. Windows will now see you this pop-up, choose the program you want to use

How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10: Choose a Program
How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10: Choose a Program

If the program does not appear in the list then you can click on More Options, if the program then still not shows you can click on “Look for another app on this PC” and browse to the application.

How to Reset Multiple File Associations

1. Right-click the Windows start button in the task bar and choose Control Panel, if you’re using a touch enable device you can touch and hold the button, then choose Control Panel

Control panel
Control panel

2. Click on Programs

Control Panel: Programs
Control Panel: Programs

3. Then click on Set your default programs

How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10: Set your default programs
How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10: Set your default programs

4. Click on the program that you want to set the defaults for, for example Windows Media Player

5. You now have two options: Set this program as Default or Choose Defaults for this program, choose the option you want. If you need to know which you should choose then read further below.

Set this program as Default

The program will open all files it can open, and all file associations will be set to this program, even if another program took them it will retake them.

Choose Default for this Program

If you choose this option then you will now see a list of all file types this program can open, according to the information it gave Windows during the installation, choose which files it should  open and click on Save

Choose which files you which to associate.
Choose which files you which to associate.

I hope this tutorial successfully showed you how to reset file associations in Windows 10 and that files are once again being opened by the program you like!

Yuri Pustjens
About the Author

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Windows
Yuri specializes in troubleshooting (crash analysis and devices), system resource utilisation and system performance. He is also very interested in Customer Security. Yuri can be found as Windows Community Moderator and Wiki Author on Microsoft Answers and is active on different communities all across the web.

6 comments

  1. Since I installed Office 365 I am unable to open files with Office extensions (*.ppt; *.pptx; *.xls; *.xlsx for sure) from Windows Explorer and I am unable to change file associations. Is this a bug with Windows 10 or with Office 365 or both?

  2. Hi, on my version of W10, stage 2 of the above guide is not quite correct. “Open with” gives you a list and also “open in another programme”. If you click on the latter you get the option to choose one of the original programmes listed plus a tick box “use this for all files of this type”. Tick this and problem solved.
    T

  3. thanks for this info windows 10 was making me use the stupid Microsoft edge program and it does not work right when trying to play back vids

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