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This is the problem: every time I reinstall windows, I spend several weeks afterwards setting it up. Nowadays, most settings (files) can be copied, so it's a little faster than it used to be. But one things that annoys me greatly is all those text files of various extensions (.txt, .dat, .tab, .prn, ....) for which in that period I'll have to "Open with ..." and "Always use this ...".

Is there a way to copy current file associations and then from that backup copy to re-use the ones that are currently in the new windows installation ?

Or, another approach, is there a way to associate some editor (let's say, vim, which will open pretty much anything) to all text files (anything non binary, actually) ?

All ideas on the subject welcome.

And happy New Year to all.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

File associations are stored in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT in the registry. You can back up your current HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key from the registry by right clicking on it and selecting Export. If you export as a .reg file, you can merge them later on (rather than overwriting). Merging this to your new registry will add all of your old file associations to the new machine. The only problem is, if you don't have the software installed which handled the file on your old machine, it won't work on the new machine obviously.

FileAsoc can help you with your second request.

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Yes, obviously :) That aside (I always use the same utils, anyways), this is a very neat approach. Yes, this may actually work. Thanks John ! – Rook Jan 2 '10 at 2:58
You're most welcome, happy new year! :) – John T Jan 2 '10 at 3:01

You can do this with Default Programs Editor:

"File Type Settings" -> "Context Menu" -> (select a text file extension, such as ".txt") -> "Add..." button

Then put in your Editor name and path, and make sure the "only extensions of this file type" is marked.

Then save it and that should be what you want.

Add context menu command for all files

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I should've mentioned, I need this under XP. But this Default Editor also looks interesting ... good to know for one day, when I cross to 7. – Rook Jan 2 '10 at 3:26
It works on XP too, but it's intended primarily for Vista/7. – Factor Mystic Jan 2 '10 at 3:33

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