How to Check and Reset File Associations in Windows 10

File extensions are vital because they tell your computer what programs can open a file. Normally, you don’t have to do much with them in Windows aside from setting your default programs.

However, sometimes you’ll find that a file extension doesn’t open in the right program. Or maybe you want to double-check what app is set as default for a certain type of file. Here’s a quick guide to managing and resetting file associations in Windows 10.

How to Check/Reset File Associations in Windows 10

Windows 10 File Associations

  1. Open the Settings panel, using Win + I as a keyboard shortcut if you like.
  2. Select the Apps entry, and choose Default apps on the left sidebar.
  3. Here, you’ll see the apps you have set as default for common tasks like emailing, listening to music, and more. Click one to change it.
  4. To look over the complete list of file associations, scroll down a bit and click Choose default apps by file type. This will let open a huge list of file extensions, many of which you’ve probably never heard of. You can select any entry to change its associated program.
  5. The Choose default apps by protocol menu lets you select apps to handle certain URL protocols, like Mailto and FTP. In most cases, these change when you adjust default apps, so you shouldn’t have to make many changes.
  6. If you choose Set defaults by app, you’ll see all the types of files a certain app can open. This lets you easily change defaults when you notice a program opens when it shouldn’t, or vice-versa.
  7. Should you find that your file associations are completely messed up, you can click the Reset button to change everything back to the defaults. This includes Microsoft’s “recommendations”, so you’ll need to change your default browser back from Edge, as well as the other categories like photos, videos, and email.

For more, see our complete guide on fixing file type associations.