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Windows 7: Changing File 'type description'

18 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Changing File 'type description'

This may seem like an odd request, but it's something I can do in Windows 98, 2000 and XP, but have no idea how to do it in Windows 7.

When using Explorer, set to display 'details', there is a 'Type' column, which displays information like "File Folder" for subdirectories, "Text Document" for a .txt file or "Configuration Settings" for a .ini file.

I would like to know how to change these file type descriptions. I'm sure it's in the registry, but couldn't find it. Closest I got was HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentUser\Explorer\FileExts but it doesn't seem to be there.

In older versions of Windows, this could be changed in explorer preferences, which was moved to "Default Programs" in Control Panel, but I can't seem to change it there either.

If a file has no association, then the 'Open With...' screen will ask you to enter a file type description, but this disappears if the file has an association already.

I'm at a loss, and you great guys (and gals) on this forum have never let me down yet, so I'm hoping someone can point me to the right place.

All this is because I want to change "PHP File" to "PHP Script"...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #2

Vista Ult64, Win7600

Hi. Type in assoc into the Start Search Box, And at the top of the menu you click on
Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program, hope that's what you are looking for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate

Thanks for the suggestion jfar, but that doesn't do what I asked.

That particular screen just allows me to change the program associated with each file type, and when I click the 'Change Program' button, I'm simply presented with the same old 'Open with...' dialog. If an extension already has an association, then there is no option to set the file type description.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

I've had another look at this, and it seems that in the registry, this appears to be partly done in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, where if I select an extension within there, it has a (Default) key.

This (Default) key varies in it's usage though.

For some files, it simply has the file type description, although there aren't many of these.

For others, it has an association, for example:
HKCR/.mp3/(Default) = WMP11.AssocFile.MP3
HKCR/.bmp/(Default) = Fireworks.bmp
HKCR/.xls/(Default) =
HKCR/.swf/(Default) = ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash

And some others have neither (generally where the file type description is "xxx File")
HKCR/.bat/(Default) = batfile
HKCR/.txt/(Default) = txtfile
HKCR/.php/(Default) = php_auto_file

For these 3rd group, there is another entry in HKCR that matches the key value, and these also have their own (Default) key:
HKCR/batfile/(Default) = Windows Batch File
HKCR/txtfile/(Default) = Text Document
HKCR/php_auto_file/(Default) = PHP Script

What I don't understand is that of the 3 directly above, .bat and .txt files show the key value text as the file type description in Windows Explorer, but .php files show the file type as "PHP File", even though the key value above is "PHP Script".

Am I just looking in the wrong place? Or is there something else going on?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #5

XP SP3 32bit, Vista HP 64bit, Seven Pro 64bit

In Seven x64, keys found under this key may override HKCR keys:

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Changing File 'type description'

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