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I downloaded Notepad2 and placed it in

C:\Program Files\Notepad2

I wanted to associate all .txt files to Notepad2. I did an Open With and Choose Default Program. I browsed to and selected Notepad2 and clicked OK. But, the application didn't show up as an option in the Open with dialog box.

I moved the Notepad2 directory to Program Files (x86) and tried again, same problem.

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Not an actual answer but Notepad++ could do the job and has a menu just for this (Settings > Preferences > File > Association). – Baztoune Aug 3 '10 at 15:35
I'm having this problem with any application that doesn't have an installer. That I put in Program Files manually (for example, Reflector for opening .dll files). – Anthony Mastrean Aug 3 '10 at 16:00

You can try creating a persistent context entry in windows right-click menu:

  1. first of all backup you registry -->
  2. in registry editor go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell
  3. right click on 'shell' container and crate a new key called (i.e.) "Open with Notepad2" w/o quotes
  4. now right click on the newly crated key and crate a new key called Command (it will be nested in "Open with Notepad2"
  5. select the key 'command' and in the right pane double click on the 'Default' value and enter:

    fullpath_of_notepad2.exe %1

NOTE: use the real full path of notepad2 in place of "fullpath_of_notepad2.exe" and remember that if you move the executable the context menu will stop working.

I have tried this with some apps w/o install (i.e portable apps).

As an alternative (I did not tried it but is freeware) you can try Default Programs Editor which have a more friendly and complete functionality for managing file associations.

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+1 for Default Programs Editor, it is an excellent program :) – Factor Mystic Aug 4 '10 at 1:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I put the application in a folder under my user account and the association dialog works correctly. For example


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Notepad2 Installer!

For this specific case only

Flo has released an installer that replaces the default Notepad with Notepad2.

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