How to Reset File Extensions

by Christopher Kennedy

Newly installed third-party software usually replaces your computer's default programs to open specific file extensions, if you do not instruct it not to. This can result in unwanted programs opening certain file extensions by default. For example, you wouldn't want Photoshop or Microsoft Word opening just to view a .jpeg or .txt file. This would waste system resources, and better options are available to quickly and efficiently open these file types. Reset your file associations and extensions to have the programs you choose run when you open a file.


Click the \"Start\" button and click the \"Default Programs\" link in the right window pane.


Click the \"Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program\" link to change which program opens a specific file extension. Wait for the list of extensions to load.


Scroll through the list and select the file extension you wish to change. Click the \"Change Program\" button located at the top right of the window and select the program you wish to associate with the file extension. If it is not listed, click \"Browse\" to manually find the program. This option is good for when you want a program to open one video file, but a different program to open another video file.


Click the \"Set your default programs\" link to change which programs are used by default.


Scroll through the list and select the program you wish to set as a default program. Click the \"Set this program as default\" link or, if you wish to fine tune which files are opened using the program, click \"Choose defaults for this program.\" From the list, use the check boxes to select which file extensions are to be opened with the program.


Click \"OK\" once you have finished editing your file associations and extensions.


  • check If you wish to restore the file associations and extensions to the ones originally installed with your computer, it will require that you access and modify your computer's registry. Click the \"Start\" button and type \"regedit\" into the search box. Once the program has started, navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Curre ntVersion\\Explorer\\FileExts\\ in the registry. Click the extension that you wish to reset and delete the \"UserChoice\" key.


  • close Modifying your computer's registry can cause problems. If you are unsure of what you are doing, do not attempt to alter any settings.
  • close Back up any important files and documents before modifying your computer's registry.

About the Author

Christopher Kennedy is a graduate of Montclair State University and holds a degree in communication studies with a concentration in public relations. He began writing professionally in 2005, starting with the campus newspaper, "The Montclairion," and various private clients.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Hemera Technologies/ Images