Change a Program Associated with a File Type in Windows 7

Jan 2010

Change a Program Associated with a File Type in Windows 7

comment icon9 comment(s) |

Like many of you, I made the switch from Windows XP to Windows 7 recently and completely skipped over the whole Vista debacle.  In doing so, I have found many changes in process that may have been made under Vista but am not seeing until now.

Changing File Type Associations in Windows 7

In good 'ol Windows XP, you could change file type associations in any Explorer window by hitting Tools > Folder Options > File Types.  In Windows 7, the File Types tab has gone missing.  How do I change this, when I do not have a specific file that I want to click on?

Easy.  Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Control Panel (or my favorite, hit your Windows Key and type "Cont" and the Control Panel link appears)
  2. Go to Default Programs (or again, skip step 1 and go Windows Key, then type "Defau" and the Default Program link appears.)
  3. Select "Associate a file type or protocol with a program"
  4. Scroll through the list to find the extension you are looking to change and double-click it.  For my example, I want to change .TIFF files from Photoshop to the default Windows image viewer.  
  5. A new window appears giving you the recommended options.  You can hit "Other Programs" if you had something else in mind.  I chose Photo Viewer.
  6. Done!
Simple.  Now the file will open with the program you have selected.

Productivity Tip:  What Do You Mean by "Hit the Windows Key to Search"?

In the list of steps above, I mentioned one of my very favorite tools in the new Windows 7, the enhanced Search feature.  Gone are the days of slow and unreliable searching for files you know are there.  Now you can find anything at any time.

From anywhere in Windows, just hit your Windows Key (the key with the Windows symbol, next to ALT on the bottom left of your keyboard) and start typing whatever you are looking for.  

Be vague, be precise...whatever!  Is it a file?  Is it a program?  Is it an email?  Who cares, the new search will find it!  



January 12, 2010


The greatest single addition to Windows

The start bar search has to be the greatest single addition to Windows, ever. I can't think of another feature I consciously use more often.

May 19, 2011


You don’t know what a relief

You don’t know what a relief this post has been for me – I was really having a tough time trying to work my way trying to understand how to the Windows 7 worked as I worked with the Windows XP for a couple of years now and was really having a tough time with some of its features!!All the time i had to get the help from the contact center or go to the default help section. But this post has really worked wonders for me as I have really understood the things I found to be confusing before!!

August 30, 2011

Margo D

changing a file association

I have followed the instructions exactly--up to a point. I am trying to download a book from my library system (Maryland Overdrive). I want to get an .acsm file to go to Adobe Digital Editions rather than to Adobe reader. I go to Control Panel, Default Programs, but when I try to change the file type association, the programs that are brought up do not include Adobe Digital Editions. ADE is on my computer and when I go to the Windows icon and go to programs, there it is at the top of the list. I cannot find it when I am in Default programs.

November 12, 2011


How change *.doc association from MSWord2003 то MSWord2010

How change *.doc association from MSWord2003 то MSWord2010.
MSOffice2003 & MSOffice2010 instaled in Win7x64 machine.

February 5, 2013

dr. helmy

How change *.doc association from MSWord2003 то MSWord2010

Try to open this file by MSWord2007 installed on any computer , then save as that file as *.docx NOT as *.doc , by choosing the first top in save a copy of the document .

                      dr. helmy
February 25, 2013


Changing not creating?

I noticed it said changing file types, but I didn't think it was so strict in windows 7. In XP there was an option to add my own file types, add icons and commands etc, but in windows 7 there only appears to have the option to change program... no way to simply add one.

Is there a way, or has this feature been removed?

March 7, 2013


.tiff missing

I would like to know how to do this as well. I went to change the file associations for .tiff files and they are not in the list, and there is no "add" button. What is up with that?

September 17, 2013


Adding extensions, just like we did in XP

Peggy, maybe there's a more elegant way in Win7 - I'm new to it myself; but you can open a CMD.EXE window as administrator and use the ASSOC command to add the .tiff extension and associate it:

C:\Windows\system32>assoc .tiff=TIFImage.Document

and it should respond with the below:


You can read about it if you look for help on ASSOC and FTYPE.
Hope that helps :)

May 28, 2015

Art Baumann


I don't want my photo files downloaded and saved like this. I want them all saved as JPEG files. When I click "save as" I want to download them as JPEG's. I don't want to have to reopen and re-save each photo in paint as a JPEG. That will take months with the amount of photos I have. My blu-ray player will not read these HPTSMSVMP.JPG files. The HAVE to be JPEG's. I need to be able to do that on the initial "save as" and NOT as a secondary option that causes more work.