I store my Word documents in XML format to allow version handling. If I set the default file handler for the .xml file extension to Notepad++, Chrome, Excel, or any other program, then Windows attempts to open the XML file in the specified program. If I set the default app to Word, however, then the file opens in Notepad.

I made some small progress here by changing the registry key PercievedType from text to document at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.xml: now Windows opens a dialogue box asking "How do you want to open this file", with Word listed as the default.

I know this is a minor annoyance, but I'd really appreciate any suggestions..

As requested in the comments, here are links to screenshots showing that when I use the right-click menu to select the default file handler, Microsoft Word is selected, though I the associated tickbox is unchecked until I click it.


You can remove the registry tweaks you've did and right-click on a .XML file and hover in open with and click "chose another app" and click on word and don't forget to click the button always open with.

  • Please Comment back of this answer is not working, – user634315 Sep 8 '16 at 13:43
  • This just opens up the "How do you want to open this file" dialog, in which Word is already selected as the default option. Clicking "Always use this app to open .xml files" has no effect. – ms609 Sep 8 '16 at 14:38
  • Please remove all the registry tweaks you have done – user634315 Sep 8 '16 at 14:43
  • I've reverted the PercievedType back to document and now XML files once again open with Notepad, even though Word is set as the default file handler (by following your instruction). – ms609 Sep 8 '16 at 14:49
  • Can you attach some screenshots please😅😅 – user634315 Sep 9 '16 at 7:56

The issue was a missing registry entry in Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.xml. Adding the entry PerceivedType = text fixed the problem.

A corresponding entry did exist in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT: I wonder whether Windows 10 is more actively deprecating this registry branch, which seems to be a hangover from Windows 3.1.

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