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Is it possible to easily change all file type associations that are currently associated with one program to another program in one batch? In my case, I am trying to change all files types currently associated with Notepad to instead use Notepad++ in Windows 7.

It's a pain to go through Default Programs > Set Associations because after each type the entire list re-populates, taking several seconds. Is there a way I can do a search and replace in the registry, or something even easier?

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5 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

In many programs you can set file types associated with the program itself from settings. For example in Notepad++ you can go to Settings -> Preferences and select tab File Association. There you can add files that should be associated with notepad++.

This is not direct answer to what you asked but it should accomplish the same task. In case the program you want to set associations with doesn't have this option you will have to use your method.

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Thanks, that worked great! –  Adam Bellaire Sep 15 '09 at 13:26
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T. Kaltnekar's answer is fine for this program, but Default Programs Editor can do this for any program and any context menu action for any number of extensions.

Open the program, click File Type Settings. The search box, in addition to searching extensions and descriptions, supports limited advanced queries, in the format <verb>:<application>, where "verb" means the item on the file type's context menu, and "application" is the program that item launches when clicked.

So in your case, you'd search for open:notepad to get a list of all file types that Open with Notepad:

Search file types by program

You can then select all the items you want out of that list (Ctrl+Click, Shift+Click or Click+Drag like normal) then hit Next.

On the Context Menu page, click the item you want to edit (Open in this case) and click Edit Selected Command. Then you're on this page, where you put in the path to the program of your choice. For you, this is Notepad++ (%1 is the parameter you pass the program so that it opens the file you've clicked. It's a common Windows thing):

Edit a verb for multiple file types

Then Next, Save Context Menu, and you're done.

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Please have a look at your images ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Jan 20 '10 at 13:25
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+1 for the real answer to this problem. –  therobyouknow May 16 '10 at 13:32
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There is also a quite handy software called FiletypesMan that's very convenient to have around when dealing with filetypes.

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Alternatively, you could make Windows think it's using Notepad, when in fact it's using Notepad++. Basically you rename notepad++.exe to notepad.exe and place the executable in the appropriate directories.

Edit: more extensive instructions

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+1 Interesting, and at this point I'm willing to entertain the idea. But I'd really rather simply modify the associations, if it's possible to do easily. –  Adam Bellaire Sep 15 '09 at 13:00
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Actually, it's better to use the Image File Execution Options trick. Much easier to revert, and no need to fool windows' file protection mechanism. –  SamB Jun 3 '10 at 21:03
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Chrome icon does not show up against htm and html files in Windows Explorer – Solution

  1. Open FileTypesMan.exe (Freeware from Nirsoft)
  2. It will list all file types registered on the computer.
  3. Select htm file type. It will list all actions pertaining to that file type eg. Open, and also Edit and print shown as &edit and &print.
  4. Ensure that all actions (including edit and print) are linked to chrome. exe. If not, then change default program to chrome exe.
  5. Repeat steps for html file type.
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