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In XP, I could go Tools>Options>File Types and modify descriptions, icons and actions.

Does this still exist in Windows 7?

I'm not finding anything explicitly saying so, but there are lots of recommendations to download assorted random software to do it.

There must be a way to change this without having to use third party stuff?

Update: Found a discussion saying this was removed from Vista (and so I guess W7 too), and can only be done by editing the registry.
So, unless someone knows if there's a way to copy an old DLL to re-enable the functionality, I guess the question is forced to be: what's the best free tool?

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Are you talking about changing the default program for certain file types? – James T May 30 '10 at 21:40
No, I'm talking about changing descriptions, icons, and non-default actions for any and all file types. – Peter Boughton May 30 '10 at 22:07
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Windows 7 the option to modify file associations has been moved to 'Default Programs', which you can find in Control panel. However, it's not that useful. A better option would be

FileTypesMan - Alternative to 'File Types' manager of Windows

It's a comprehensive utility for managing virtually every aspect of file types.

There is a partial tutorial here:

Change a File Type’s Icon in Windows 7

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+1 Nice find, Nirsoft is great. – Moab Jan 1 '11 at 15:59

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