How to Change File Type Associations In Windows

You’ve probably had this happen more than once: You download an application, quickly open “setup.exe” or whatever installs it, click “Next” a ton of times, and skip over the screen where the program would ask you to customize file type associations to a long list of extensions. Once you skip over, the program automatically becomes the default for those files. You’re practically doomed if you don’t know how to navigate through Windows’ enormous bureaucracy of settings. Or, perhaps you’re not. Today, we’re going to discuss two great tools that help you get rid of file type associations or change them in Windows. We’ll start with the simplest one.

Unassoc is the easiest program you can use to remove file type associations. Your MP3s can be re-opened to associate with your favorite media player once more! This tool contains a relatively small and minimalistic interface:


All you have to do is browse to a file extension you want to remove the association for and then click “Delete file type.” There’s no extra voodoo required. You can download this tool here.

Types is a more advanced program for people who want to do more than simply pop a pimple. People who use this application won’t be disappointed with its wide range of features. You not only can delete file type associations, but you can redefine them and even add to the context menus you get when right-clicking the files. Have a look at the interface:


All you have to do here to delete a file type association is to click on the extension and click the red “X” button on the top of the window. To add an association, click the green “plus” button at the top. The application also allows you to configure the icon for files associated with a particular program, the context menus, and a couple of other things particular to that extension and association.

There’s one thing I’d like to mention though. The installation of a shortcut to the “Start” menu doesn’t work. To get to Types, you must enter the control panel and reach into “Appearance and Personalization.” You’ll find Types on the bottom.

To make a context menu item, all you have to do is right-click the extension, click “Properties,” click the “Actions” tab in the new window, type up a name on the text box near the top, and click the green button next to the text box. At the bottom, you’ll find another text box. You can input the command you want that action to execute. It will do it as if though you would have typed the command in the command line. This is especially useful for power users who want to run programs diagnostically or with certain features enabled/disabled.

You can download Types here.

I certainly hope that you found these applications useful. If you find any other applications of this nature, please let our readers know in the comments section below! But it seems like these two applications will be all you need to seriously work on your extension associations!

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