My Shortcuts on Windows7 was just opening VLC, and I right-clicked one of them to change the default program and it eventually opened. But because I chose for it to always open in the default program, all shortcuts did the same - they opened that same application. Apparently I had associated shortcuts to that application. How do I re-associate shortcuts to act as a shortcut to their own applications? Please help me understand the way shortcuts work in other to rectify the problem. Thanks. Niyimagic

  1. start (click)
  2. search programs (click)
  3. Regedit (you need to write this and open it)
  4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.lnk (you need to find these sub-folder by clicking through the keys)
  5. UserChoice (you need to find and delete this folder that's the problem that you made)
  6. Close and restart windows
  • 1
    using win-r then regedit would be an easier way to get to regedit. I do suspect you can search registry as well. – Journeyman Geek Oct 13 '12 at 8:01
  • I know this post is old, but just used it to solve my problem. Thank you for your answer. – amlane86 Mar 20 '14 at 19:50
  • in my case regedit and all other exe files didnt run by explorer so i write answer below for this case – saber tabatabaee yazdi Jul 16 '19 at 13:54

Well, in order to try and recreate your problem, I was sitting here with the same problem without any clue how to fix it. When you try to change the file type association again, there is no option to revert to the original state.

How I fixed it eventually is through the use of this website: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/19449-default-file-type-associations-restore.html

There is a howto on the site itself, but the procedure is very simple. Look for the link to LNK filetype on the page, download the zip which include a .reg file. Open that .reg file, agree to the security message and after it is done, log off and on and the .lnk file type will be reassociated to its original state.


Right click any file again and choose Open With > Choose default program...

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Select the program, and choose Always use the selected program to open this kind of file

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  • I think he associated program shortcut files with a particular application. Which is useless, no matter what application you choose. – Daniel Beck Feb 9 '11 at 17:07

Head over to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Default Programs\Set Default Programs

Then you can choose each application and set their defaults back

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in my case all exe files also cant opened by explorer

so regedit.exe didnt run as well

so only way that solve problem is create new user (as administrator) and move all documents there.

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