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Windows 7: Help needed in establishing program - file associations

27 Dec 2016   #1

Win 7 professional
Help needed in establishing program - file associations

I recently upgraded from XP to Win7. Program - file associations seem to work differently. For instance I often work with videos and their subtitles. Right click 'open with' on .mp4 gives MPC and WMP only. Choose default program yields no options. In XP all registered programs capable of opening an .mp4 were presented and one could also browse for any that were not in the list. I have handbrake installed which will open .mp4 but when you browse within Handbrake to a folder containing .mp4s none are visible. They can be viewed in windows explorer.

Another one is .srt, text subtitles. Nothing is associated with it. Opening default programs in the control panel does not contain notepad which is one program I would like to associate with .srt. From what I have read this problem seems to involve editing the registry which I have little understanding of.

It would be much appreciated if some kind sole would lead me through it or perhaps there are some .reg files ready to go somewhere.

Thanks, John.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2016   #2

Windows 7 x64

Hi John.

Notepad is renamed as Text Document, once you open the file, the Notepad is seen on top.
Select an open space in explorer, right click select New -> Text Document.

To overwrite default, it is very straightforward.
In your Handbrake folder, select a file with .mp4
Right click on the file -> Open with -> Choose default program -> Browse
Find this Handbrake .exe file, and ensure the box is marked a tick on the left side, click on the Handbrake .exe
In this way all the .mp4 will open & associated with this Handbrake program, auto.

Do not use registry as it is LIVE, and should you make a serious mistake, the system may hang.

This is to overwrite the existing program and to use your favorite Handbrake program to open with.

This method apply to all, as far as i use.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2016   #3

Win 7 professional

Thanks for your reply Eric. Not sure if I fully understand your first paragraph. If I 'Select an open space in explorer, right click select New -> Text Document.' this creates a 'New Text Document.txt' which when double clicked opens in WordPad, not a problem as the default for .txt is WordPad.

Your instructions enabled me to put programs I want in the right click open with list.

I don't seem to be able to set up a default for Notepad. In Control Panel/Default Programs/Set your default programs Notepad does not appear in the list. Right clicking on the file Open with/Choose default program results in the error message
"This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel." This is the behaviour for any file extension.

Why can't I change the default program for any file extension by this method and how do I set a default for Notepad?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2017   #4

Win 7 professional

When trying to open any file type (extension) with right click > open with > choose default program... the following error is given and I cannot browse to any program. I assume this should work as in XP where programs that can open that extension are added to the drop down open with list. All the information I have been able to find relates to establishing correct file associations.

I any one knows of a fix it would be appreciated.

Attached Images
Help needed in establishing program - file associations-doc1.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Then see another tutorial here:

Open with - Add Program

For adding items to "open with" that prove tricky the "" program mentioned usually works.

If it doesn't then you'd need something like DefaultProgramsEditor mentioned in this post:

Cannot launch programs from right-click popup menu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2017   #7

Win 7 professional

Thanks for your suggestions Callender. I have run the registry edits and tried to other fixes with no change. BTW the problem machine is running Win7 Pro and we have another desk top running Win7 Home on which open with > choose default program works as expected and allows browsing to a program.

It seems to me (a noob when it comes to this stuff) that all the procedures are aimed at establishing compatible program - file extension associations. Do I understand correctly that every program has one or more file extension(s) that it can open and that every file extension has a list of programs that it can be opened with. Each extension has a default or primary program that is used to open it when the file is double clicked. The problem here I think is that the "choose default program" doesn't recognise that a default program exists for that extension, it gives the message as above for all extensions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2017   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Did you try the lnk file association fix?

You can restore all file associations to default by downloading the zip file here:

Default File Type Associations - Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2017   #9

Win 7 professional

I have downloaded all the default file extensions and merged some of the more common ones into the registry. Rebooted and tried the "choose default program" item in the "open with" menu for some of the extensions merged. I still receive the message as above and am unable to browse for a program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2017   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Okay try this. Download the attached file and save it to your desktop. Right click the file and choose "Merge"

EDIT: Create a system restore point first.
Reboot and test.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help needed in establishing program - file associations

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