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Every time I switch machines (as in, get a new one, or reinstall an OS or something like that) my precious file associations get lost. And the next six months pass slowly until I again set them up right.

Is there a program that allows me to:

  • Set all the extensions I would like to open with let's say, Vim, without setting each one of them individually. Something of a kind: Vim opens: .... list of extensions ...


  • A program which lets me backup my current settings, and when I copy those to a new machine it lets me just modify the paths where I putted the applications in question, and it does the rest (again, associates that program with all the extensions it opened before).
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File associations are kept in the registry as subkeys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

The easiest way to set them is with the Contol Panel\Folder Options tool.

You can back them up by exporting the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key like so:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (go to Start->Run, type in "regedit")
  2. Select the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key by clicking on it
  3. Open the Back Up Registry dialog (File->Export...)
  4. Under 'Export Range' select the 'Selected Branch' option, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT should already be in the textbox
  5. Type in a name for the registry file to export; perhaps "file_associations"
  6. Select a place on your hard drive to save the file
  7. Click 'Save'. That portion of the registry will be exported to that file

Export Registry File

To merge the keys back into the registry (like on a new machine) simply double-click the exported file and the keys will be merged into the registry, restoring your file associations.

As far as I know, there is no program to do this automatically.

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