Files open in the wrong program fix

Modified on Tue, 9 May, 2023 at 9:54 PM

Most of us double-click a file to open it, but if the file association in Windows is broken, as it often is, it won’t open in the app you expect it to. You can fix that by clicking on the Start menu and choosing Settings. Click on the System tab and look for the category labeled “default apps.” In there, you can choose what app opens each type of file and specify an app for different file extensions.

default program open files windows 10

All you need to do is right-click on the file you want to open and select ‘Choose another app‘. This will open a new window where you can set the default program to use in order to open the respective type of file. Simply check the option ‘Always use this app to them files‘.

You can also set the default apps for opening specific files and folders from the Settings page.

  1. So, go to Settings and select Apps and then click on ‘Default Apps’, as shown in the screenshot below.

  1. default apps windows 10
  2. Now, click on the type of content that you want to open.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear on the screen, allowing you to select the default program to use.

choose default app windows 10


                     Further explained:


It depends on the type of file it is.  Say for instance you downloaded and Adobe file.  Adobe files open with PDF and all PDF files are supposed to be associated with Adobe Reader to be able to open the files.  If something or someone changes what program they open with, you will get this type of error.  Just follow one of the 2 steps above to re associate the PDF files to open with Adobe reader.  If you don't see it in the list, as illustrated above, then you can go to more app to find the program.

Below are the most common file associations for a Windows based PC.




File Extension

File Type


Audio Interchange File Format


Basic Audio


Multimedia Audio/Video


PC batch file


Windows BitMap


Java files


Comma separated, variable length file (Open in Excel)




dbase II, III, IV data


Data Interchange format


Microsoft Word for Windows/Word97


Encapsulated PostScript


PC Application


Filemaker Pro databases (the numbers following represent the version #)


Graphics Interchange Format


Macintosh BinHex


Web page source text


JPEG graphic




Web page imagemap


MS Access database


MIDI sound

.MOV or .QT

QuickTime Audio/Video

.MTB or .MTW



Acrobat -Portable document format


PageMaker (the numbers following represent the version #) P=publication, T=template


Portable Network Graphics




Adobe PhotoShop


PaintShop Pro






Rich Text Format


Stuffit Compressed Archive


UNIX TAR Compressed Archive


TIFF graphic


ASCII text (Mac text does not contain line feeds--use DOS Washer Utility to fix)


Windows sound


Lotus 1-2-3 (the numbers following represent the version #)


MS Works

WPD or .WP5

WordPerfect (the numbers following represent the version #)


Excel spreadsheet


PC Zip Compressed Archive


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