Besides determining the default folder type in Windows Explorer, what is the purpose of "Perceived Types" for files in Windows 7-10?

Are there any advantages or disadvantages to setting the perceived type for custom file extensions?

2 Answers 2


Just another way to group files of like types into broad categories. For example images such as jpg, png and ico.

The advantage is that you can then do operations on like type files.

For example, if your new file type is image related and you want to rename it while renaming all image files than give it the perceived type 'Image.'


PerceivedType corresponds to the Kind column in Explorer. It's a way "rolling up" file types that similar in nature. Especially useful for searching to avoid a list of file extensions. Add the Kind colum to a Details view in Explorer and explore :) Take a look at:


as well.

  • Ah, thank you. And thanks for the registry reference. If you don't use Explorer, and your file manager doesn't do anything with the Perceived Type, do Perceived Types effect/impact anything at all in the system (for Windows 7-10)? Mar 18, 2020 at 14:05
  • Hard to say (at least for me - LOL). Is Explorer still your shell? It provides the common dialogs used by many programs. It also may affect waht appears in the context menu for items. Mar 18, 2020 at 16:19
  • Good questions. Yes, Explorer is still the shell. It does provide common dialogs used by many programs. Context menus are an interesting point as well, although I'm currently unclear if Perceived Types impact them. Mar 19, 2020 at 8:02
  • 1
    I haven't tested, but I imagine that PerceivedType is what ties file extensions to the audio/image/text/video entries under HKCR\SystemFIleAssociations . All of those appear to add verbs to the context menu. Mar 19, 2020 at 16:19
  • Thanks Keith. I'll check it out. Mar 19, 2020 at 19:00

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