How to reset ‘How do you want to open this file?’

This will also work for when you want to change the default program for an extension!

Always use this app to open .EXT files, ‘MISCLICK’, sure…!

Do you know that when you reinstall a laptop and then install all your applications again, some files on your desktop are not yet recognized because the applications do not add a default program for the extension they use?

Or that you want to open a simple notepad file in a word document?

Or have you ever pressed the wrong icon, and that from then on all apps with that extension have a wrong default application it open it with?

I saw this question on a Microsoft help forum recently.
It seems so simple, but for someone who encounters this for the first time I can understand that this is a problem.

I’m going to guide you through this with the steps below.

I saw this question on a Microsoft help forum recently. It seems so simple, but for someone who encounters this for the first time I can understand that this is a problem.


I’m going to guide you through this with the steps below

There are several ways to update this, but for a layman I think this is the easiest way.

I have created a text file with a fake extension: textfile.fakeext.
I have already set the wrong default program for this extension.

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

Go to an appropriate file that has the wrong default program.
Then right click on the icon and click on Open with...

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

As you can see, the default program that is set is shown as the first choice.

Click on More Apps and make sure Always use this app to open .fakeext files is checked (as in the screenshot below).

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

Search for the correct application and select it.
Keep the checkbox checked!

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

Is your application not in the list? Then keep following my steps, otherwise just click the icon and you’re done!

If your application is not in the list, click on Look for another app on this PC.

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

This will open the default installation directory for several applications. Check in this list if you see the directory for your application.

You could also click on the Local Disk (C:) in the top and use the search function from there.

  1. Click on Local Disk (C:)
  2. Search for your application (in my case Notepad)
  3. Click on the application in the list
  4. Click Open
How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

And as you can see the default application has changed.

How to change the default program for an extension in Windows

This is from Microsoft Answers

This post is from answers.microsoft.com.
I have expanded the existing tutorial with screenshots.

If you have questions regarding this topic, please go to the following page:
Why are you using forum posts from Microsoft Community?

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Bas Wijdenes

My name is Bas Wijdenes and I work as a PowerShell DevOps Engineer. In my spare time I write about interesting stuff that I encounter during my work.

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