Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am not able to select default program for a file that uses same program exe name as it used previously, but now in different folder and thus different version. When ever i select the program, it wont select anything.

How do i force Windows XP to open with the program exe path i selected, and not smart-guess which program i meant? I deleted the older program exe and now when i select new program it thinks its deleted and wont allow me to select the new one.

share|improve this question
Have you tried assigning it to something else temporarily and then back to the original .exe with new path? – Raystafarian Feb 9 '12 at 16:01
@Raystafarian, yes i tried that, but only when i renamed exe it was only thing that worked, but i dont want to rename exe... – Rookie Feb 9 '12 at 16:13
Is it opening it via DDE? This can cause problems like you're describing. If you've set the path for the default file handler specifically, it should not have issues so long as it is not trying to use the usually-too-smart-for-its-own-good DDE. – music2myear Feb 9 '12 at 16:14
What is the application which is opening the file? – Shevek Feb 9 '12 at 16:21
@Shevek, home made app. but i believe it has nothing to do which app it is... i remember seeing this bug before in the past unfixed. – Rookie Feb 9 '12 at 16:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can always approach it by going to the Registry Editor. If you aren't familiar with editing the registry, I suggest you back it up first before attempting anything.

You can find the extension at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.yourextension

For example, let's take WinRAR's .RAR extension. For that, I'd have to go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.rar on the Registry Editor. As you can see on the screenshot below, the (Default) REG_SZ key points to WinRAR.

enter image description here

Now we will go to the registry key that actually contains the application information. That is WinRAR and it should be located on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT as well. So it will be located under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinRAR. As you can see on the image below, under the WinRAR key, you can jump directly to shell\open\command.

enter image description here

As shown above, you just edit the (Default) key and place the path to your application inside double quotes then a space and followed by %1 inside double quotes as well. %1 denotes the path to your file.

I hope this somewhat lengthy explanation can serve as a template for you to be able to easily remap your file extension to your newly updated executable. Once you get the hang of this, it should be pretty easy from here-on out.

share|improve this answer

Right-Click on the file and depending on the file type you may already have an Open With... option or an Open With sub-menu

If not, hold down SHIFT while Right-Clicking on the file and you will see hidden option.

If you see Open With... then selecting this will allow you to browse for the executable to use.

If you see Open With sub-menu then the last option will be Choose Program.. which will allow you to browse for the executable to use.

In either case there will be a check box for Always use the selected program to open this kind of file

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
i tried that already: it wont let me choose it! once i select my program, it doesnt show it in the list at all, but if i rename the exe to something else, i can use it. but i dont want to rename it... i have already tried to remove associations and put it back, i tried also to open with other program and put back to the real program but nothing helps. i think only way for fix is to hard-edit the registry? – Rookie Feb 9 '12 at 16:12
What is the application? – Shevek Feb 9 '12 at 16:20
its a home made app. – Rookie Feb 9 '12 at 16:22
well, when you tick that box it should do the registry for you! I'm not sure what is happening for you :( – Shevek Feb 9 '12 at 16:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .