I recently upgraded my Adobe CS4 Des. Standard to CS5. For some reason Adobe didn't overwrite CS4 but instead installed CS5 as a whole new series of programs. Seeing as I didn't want both CS4 & CS5 I un-installed CS4.

Problem was, it also destroyed all my file associations. So .ai, .psd, .indd etc... aren't associated with any program.

Theoretically this should be easy to fix. Right-click my_file.ai -> properties -> Change open with application -> navigate to Illustrator.exe in program files and click open. And that's supposed to do it.

Wrong, When I navigate to Illustrator and try and set it as default program, it simply does nothing. No error, but no association

So I'm stuck. Is there a way to do it in regedit? Or is there something I'm missing?

OS is Windows 7

3 Answers 3


I have good experience with Default Programs Editor - "powerful, multi-featured file association utility for Windows". Free and small, no install needed. I googled it while I was looking for some user-friendly way to change file icons :-)

  • 2
    I'll give it a go. edit: Yes! it worked.
    – Emmanuel
    Jun 9, 2011 at 8:18
  • This worked for me even when all the built in Explorer methods failed. Thanks!
    – Coxy
    Feb 8, 2013 at 7:30
  • For reference, my problem was with having 3 versions of MS Project installed. Not even uninstalling the old ones would let me associate the files to Project 2010.
    – Coxy
    Feb 8, 2013 at 7:30
  • 1
    It's a shame that Microsoft can't make a simple UI like that, that is built into Windows. I'm on Win10 and somehow the .js extension got hijacked by one of Adobe products. So I needed to set it back to Windows Scripting Host. Doing it via Windows CP was giving me The program you have selected cannot be associated error. This little program did it in just a few clicks. Brilliant!
    – ahmd1
    Aug 24, 2017 at 16:58

This is for win8 might work under win7 too, haven't tested it there.

Create new txt file and open it in any text editor. Copy the following text into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


and alter the .scr to the file extension you like to change, also after the @="scr then save the txt file, BUT make sure you put the new filename of the txt file in Qoutes, for example "newAssociation.reg" that is important, otherwise you end up having a "newAssociations.reg.txt" file. Once the new file was saved correctly, you can doubbleclick it, and you are done, you may now open the file you like with a new program you can select.

  • This is not an answer to the original question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – DavidPostill
    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:16

Nirsoft's FileTypesMan, did the trick for me

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