When you double click on a file in Windows Explorer, Windows knows what program to open it in by its file extension, a group of letters following the file name after a stop (.txt for example), because Windows associates that file extension with a predetermined Program.
If Windows does not open the file in the Program you expect or wish it to using this method the File Associations will need to be changed.
For some users getting a file to open in the program of their choice can be daunting, but it is a really an easy process once you know how. The following two videos show you how to do this in a simple step by step process.
The third Video demonstrates an alternative method of opening the file in the program of your choice without changing the file association.
At the end of the third video is a written step by step procedure which may also be downloaded as a PDF file.
This video shows you how to display the file extension of your file.
This video shows you how to change the file association:
From time to time you will want to change the program associated with a particular file extension, or you may need to change the association because the association you selected seems to have become lost.
This article and associated Video shows you how to go about this.
A file association associates a file with a program capable of opening that file. File type is usually determined by the extension, a group of letters which follow a file name after the stop such as .txt.
A .txt file is usually opened by an application or program such as a text editor. A .doc file is usually opened by Microsoft Word or a word processing program that has the ability to open files with a .doc extension. Some files can only be opened by their parent program and no other.
When you double-click a file in Windows Explorer, Windows 7 examines the file extension. If Windows recognizes the extension, it opens the file in the program it has been associated with.
A file association is usually predetermined, but there are times when you will wish to change it so that you can use another program as the default program. For example Windows will open by default a text (.txt) file in Windows Notepad, but I prefer to use Notepad ++, a free program that has a lot more formatting options than Notepad itself.
To get the .txt file to open in the desired program when I double click the file, I need to change the file association in Windows. Also, for some unknown reason Windows will revert to the default, especially following an update, thus making it necessary to change the association again.
Before you start you need to know the file extension.
Open Windows Explorer to view the file of your choice. If the extension is visible note it down, but if it is not visible you will need to change the settings in “Folder Options”.
Depending on your settings, the file extensions of your files may not be visible. To display the file extensions of your files if they are not visible, follow these steps:
(This is known as changing the file association.) View the video on YouTube
Note From now on, Windows 7 will open all files that have this file extension in the program that you selected. To change this, you must follow these steps again and associate a different program with this file name extension.
Postscript: Another Method of Opening a File in The Program of Your Choice.
Instead of setting a file association you can open a file in the program of your choice as follows:
If the program you require is not listed you need to first open the program and then open the file in it.