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Change file types (program associated to an extension/file type)

    Question

  • Hi,

    The folder options in Windows Explorer does not show a File Types tab as in Windows XP.
    How can I change some of the details of a file type association, like the display icon or add/remove actions?
    In Windows XP, the File Types tab in the Folder Options dialog allowed you to browse for a file type/extension and, after clicking the Advance button for that file type/extension, a dialog will pop up with a button for changing the display icon, a list of actions (you could add/edit/remove/set the default action) and additional options like "Always show extension" or "Confirm open after download".
    How can I get access to all those features in Windows 7?

    Thanks,

       Eric
    Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:24 PM

Answers

  • Submit Feedback on this.  If you feel that there are some things missing from the current setup submitting feedback is going to be your best way for Microsoft to know what you want and be able to possibly do something to fix it.
    ~Alex T.~
    ~Windows Desktop Experience MVP~
    • Proposed as answer by Frop Sunday, January 25, 2009 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Alex T JrModerator Sunday, January 25, 2009 6:33 PM
    Sunday, January 25, 2009 3:37 AM
  • Hi

    I'm surprised that everyone here isn't using the ShellExView utility.

    This has been a part in the toolbox of just about every ITPro / Support Professional since 2003.

    Start the program and it will identify and display every context menu item with a full description of the associated program that placed it there.

    Removing a context menu item is as easy as selecting the item and clicking Disable.

    Works on every version of Windows including Win7.

    Hope this helps.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, April 03, 2009 7:42 PM

All replies

  • You'll find some of these features under Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Associate a file type or protocol with a program. I haven't a clue where you can set the default actions nowadays though.
    Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:27 PM
  • Control Panel>Programs>Default Programs menu has the following:

    Set your Default Programs
    Associate a file type or protocol with a program
    Change AutoPlay Settings
    Set program access with computer defaults

    Which will take care of part of your answer.  The other to show extensions can be achieved by opening Computer then clicking the Organize button.  There you will get a drop down list and located on there is Folder and Search Options.  Which is the same as the old Folder Options in XP.  Without the File Type Association.  There click on that and you will see the View tab which has the option to show hidden files and not to hide known extension types.

    Between those 2 areas you can accomplish what you are looking to do.

    ~Alex T.~
    ~Windows Desktop Experience MVP~
    Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:35 PM
  • The new Set Associations applet/window doesn't quite cut it. It does pretty much the same thing as the Open With... context menu item when right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer. In this new applet, there is no way to change the icon to display for a given file type nor there is a way to add/edit/remove actions (that will appear when right-clicking the file)

    All the features/functionality provided by the Edit File Type dialog (as described in my original question, i.e. changing the displayed icon, add/edit/remove actions) in Windows XP are not present in this new Set Associations applet. This is a loss of features/functionality. Please, someone tell Microsoft to fix this. The removed features could be restored in the same way they are present in XP, by adding an "Advanced" button and pop up the Edit File Type dialog. The removed features DO add value to the (expert) user experience by giving more control over the look (icon) and behavior (actions) of the file types.

    .- Eric

    Friday, January 23, 2009 12:57 AM
  • That's exactly what I meant, but I guess they just hid it deeper in the OS (possibly just in the registry). I agree that it would be a great idea to add this to the GUI again.
    Friday, January 23, 2009 2:35 PM
  • Submit Feedback on this.  If you feel that there are some things missing from the current setup submitting feedback is going to be your best way for Microsoft to know what you want and be able to possibly do something to fix it.
    ~Alex T.~
    ~Windows Desktop Experience MVP~
    • Proposed as answer by Frop Sunday, January 25, 2009 4:09 PM
    • Marked as answer by Alex T JrModerator Sunday, January 25, 2009 6:33 PM
    Sunday, January 25, 2009 3:37 AM
  • Alex T said:

    Submit Feedback on this.  If you feel that there are some things missing from the current setup submitting feedback is going to be your best way for Microsoft to know what you want and be able to possibly do something to fix it.


    ~Alex T.~
    ~Windows Desktop Experience MVP~

    Thanks, Alex.

     

    Eric, are you planning to submit feedback on this issue or should I give it a shot?


    Sunday, January 25, 2009 4:10 PM
  • Hello, I have some one trouble. But, this applet in control menu cannot help me, and I open registry and fix this trouble in registry. This trouble - file associations, my friend accidentally open dll-file with notepad & all DLL-files has open with notepad. Your Applet in control panel (Associate a file type or protocol with a program -> Set default programms) cannot help in this trouble, because notepad is currently not available them.

     I think that Microsoft must add to "Computer default programs" when "Microsoft® Windows®"  all Yours progs such as - notepad, mspaint & other & when I use this - all MS programms must changes his defaults settings...


    "В мире 2 бесконечности: вселенная и человеческая глупость..." - © Альберт Эйнштейн
    Sunday, January 25, 2009 7:11 PM
  •  Frop,

    I can submit feedback about this issue, if you haven't already. I'll do this on Monday's afternoon.

    .- Eric

    Monday, January 26, 2009 7:43 AM
  • Hi,

    I am also frustrated with them taking away this functionality.  

    As a web designer I use many different programs to open the same file type. Eg. .jpg. With Windows XP I could just go to the File Types Tab and add a "Open with Photoshop", "Open with Fireworks", "Preview with Windows" and "Preview with Picasa3". I could set the default one as well as something for "edit" and "print".

    With Windows Vista this functionality is gone. There is a "default programs" but basically it doesn't work about 50% of the time (it doesn't actually change the HKClassesRoot settings. It doesn't let you customize the context menu like XP did and it doesn't let you set a default other than 'Open'. Eg. I set .vbs scripts to "Edit" as the default so when I double click they open Notepad instead of executing.

    I have complained and complained and I was praying that Windows 7 would actually bring BACK the File Types tab functionality. However, I can see that it is still gone with Windows 7.

    Is this something they can fix for the release? The Default Programs can still be there for those people who don't have a clue but maybe an "advanced" button in the Default Programs that brings us back to the File Types Tab.

    Currently with Vista I am relying on a 3rd party too but really want the functionality back as PART of the OS. This is the tool I use.
    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/file_types_manager.html

    For me I don't understand the basic dumbing down of the OS to act more like a Mac. Mac's are usually network admins worst nightmares as to do any type of serious repair requires 50 character linux command lines.

    I have emailed all the MVP's I know and posted on Microsoft's Windows 7 Blog. My Windows 7 test machines are not hooked up to the network/internet for security purposes. Is there a way to submit feedback another way?

    Thanks

    Lara


    lforbes
    Saturday, January 31, 2009 10:25 PM
  • Eric,

    Have you, or anoyone else, submitted a bug or suggestion on feedback for this? I'd like to vote for it.

    --
    Regards,
    Neale NOON
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 9:02 PM
  • Another "improvement" added in Vista that I think lacks fore-thought. I'm sure it has everything to do with security and little to do with what customers want. I like the suggestion of having an advanced tab so that some of the functionality of changing file types was back. Just because I have a program set to open with a program, doesn't mean I want to use that file icon. I shouldn't have to have a third party app to change it nor should I have to hack the registry.
    I seriously hope MS does something about this, but I feel that they never will. I mentioned it in the online survey, but that survey was about useless. I will submit feedback. The more that do, the better chance MS will listen.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 11:23 PM
  • Eric Duran said:

    The folder options in Windows Explorer does not show a File Types tab as in Windows XP.
    How can I change some of the details of a file type association, like the display icon or add/remove actions?
    In Windows XP, the File Types tab in the Folder Options dialog allowed you to browse for a file type/extension and, after clicking the Advance button for that file type/extension, a dialog will pop up with a button for changing the display icon, a list of actions (you could add/edit/remove/set the default action) and additional options like "Always show extension" or "Confirm open after download".
    How can I get access to all those features in Windows 7?

    Eric, the File Types tab was removed in Vista. I have no idea why they removed it, maybe someone complained that there was one tab too many in the Folder Options dialogue box.

    As a result there is now no way to remove a file type or to change an icon of a file type.
    Not being able to change an icon is annoying, but not being able to remove a file type is far worse.

    Shortly after I started using Vista, I accidental associated the .cur file extension with Paint when I was trying to edit a Cursor file. (Because I didn't see that the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" Checkbox in the "Open With" dialogue box is ticked by default.)

    The result of this was, all of my .cur files showed a Paint icon instead of their own icon showing the cursor picture. I had no way to remove the .cur file type, which would have reset the icons. I had to download a third party program just to remove a file type.

    It was stupid of Microsoft to remove this important feature, especially since nobody would have asked for it to be removed in the first place.

    Because this was removed in Vista, I doubt that it will be replaced in Windows 7. I can't think of any features that Microsoft has removed from one version of Windows and then returned to the next version, no matter how many people have asked for it to be put back.

    Sunday, March 01, 2009 7:45 AM
  • I just hit the same problem.  WMP crashes out and there's no way to repair or uninstall it.   So Winamp has been installed and does the job, as it does on my XP machine.   But I can't change the File Options to match.   What a daft "fix" to put in!   I hope MS see sense before the final release - both on File Types and on removing WMP.
    Friday, April 03, 2009 2:38 PM
  •   Heck, I just want the ability to remove all the crap_  that builds-up in the context menus.
    Right on egads. I'm so tired of running thru the registry to reduce the context menus to meaningful size. And it doesn't help that one needs to track several GUID's to eliminate the meaningless clutter. In all fairness 3rd party developers take most of the blame but blame is no solution. C'mon, give us some admin tools to manage all that garbage.
    • Edited by Luna Tick Friday, April 03, 2009 6:35 PM PC filter is being a D.
    Friday, April 03, 2009 6:34 PM
  • Hi

    I'm surprised that everyone here isn't using the ShellExView utility.

    This has been a part in the toolbox of just about every ITPro / Support Professional since 2003.

    Start the program and it will identify and display every context menu item with a full description of the associated program that placed it there.

    Removing a context menu item is as easy as selecting the item and clicking Disable.

    Works on every version of Windows including Win7.

    Hope this helps.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, April 03, 2009 7:42 PM
  • Hi

    I'm surprised that everyone here isn't using the ShellExView utility .

    Thanks Ronnie, it does help.
    Friday, April 03, 2009 8:41 PM
  • In the upcoming Windows 7 Release Candidate they have added more programs to the Turn Windows Features On or Off component. Here is a list.

    Windows Media Player
    Windows Media Center
    Windows DVD Maker
    Internet Explorer 8
    Windows Search
    Handwriting Recognition (through the Tablet PC Components option)
    Windows Gadget Platform
    Fax and Scan
    XPS Viewer and Services (including the Virtual Print Driver)

    More information is at the Engineering Windows 7 Blog.

    I don't use Winamp, but does it have an option to add default file types in the preferences?


    Hope this helps.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, April 03, 2009 9:11 PM
  • Hi Luna

    Glad this helped.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, April 03, 2009 9:12 PM
  • In the upcoming Windows 7 Release Candidate they have added more programs to the Turn Windows Features On or Off component. Here is a list.

    Windows Media Player
    Windows Media Center
    Windows DVD Maker
    Internet Explorer 8
    Windows Search
    Handwriting Recognition (through the Tablet PC Components option)
    Windows Gadget Platform
    Fax and Scan
    XPS Viewer and Services (including the Virtual Print Driver)

    Step in the right direction for sure, though still, from the blog it looks like simple Hide-Me affair. Better than nothing I suppose but doesn't do much for those of us who may need space/optimization for other than default OS uses. I guess the use of Windows is just spread too much to satisfy everyone.
    Friday, April 03, 2009 11:53 PM
  • Hi

    I'm surprised that everyone here isn't using the ShellExView utility.

    This has been a part in the toolbox of just about every ITPro / Support Professional since 2003.

    Start the program and it will identify and display every context menu item with a full description of the associated program that placed it there.

    Removing a context menu item is as easy as selecting the item and clicking Disable.

    Works on every version of Windows including Win7.

    Hope this helps.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Actually Nir soft has a direct File Types Manager here that I posted in a previous post.
    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/file_types_manager.html

    The issue with it is the Antivirus keep flagging it as some type of "modware" or something although I know it isn't.

    The reality is though that Microsoft should NOT take away functionality with newer OS.
    lforbes
    Friday, April 10, 2009 10:07 PM
  • @Ronnie Vernon

    You wrote:

    "I'm surprised that everyone here isn't using the ShellExView utility. This has been a part in the toolbox of just about every ITPro / Support Professional since 2003."

    I think, this is like you're saying "Why don't you continue to use Windows XP. The "File Types" dialog has been part of the toolbox since Windows 95".

    I thought MS would try to improve the usability of the OS, not to worsen it.

    Thoughts:

    - Why should I consider using a third party tools (with all its possible security/programming issues) if there's a built-in one?
    - Who - in the wild - knows about this tool (or where to get it)?
    - What if you grab the wrong one (trojan...; you know what's going on out there)
    - It's MS's OS, not anyone else's => provide the tools required

    I know, you're not the right addressee, but why should we cope so easily?

    AxBen
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:32 AM
  • i think ive found a way last night but, it was so stupid that i forgot how.  All i could rember was i opened a file useing office word or notepad or wordpad and did a few setting changes and made the code more readable.  i don't remember what i did but i dit change some .ogg file to a .flv file( it did not run since ogg is music and flv is movie) even thogh i was intending to turn it into .wav file.  P.S. i olny changed the file extension not the code.

    I just wish that a  microsoft brings this option and even office frontpage and make web page avaible option like in ie6.0 available again in ie8.0.


    • Edited by eon747 Saturday, January 05, 2013 10:38 PM little off topic
    Saturday, January 05, 2013 10:37 PM