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 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

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 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

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 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

Control panel

2. Click on Programs

Control Panel: Programs How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

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 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

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. How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10 How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10

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!

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About The Author
Yuri Pustjens
Yuri Pustjens
2014, 2015 & 2016 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.
4 Comments
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  • May 28, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    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?

  • Tom Davies
    October 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    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

  • brandon
    August 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    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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