The situation:

My wife is a hobby photographer and likes to view/edit her pictures on the Computer (Windows 7 professional) she uses 4-5 different programs to handle the pictures. I told her the easiest way to choose the program she wants to use is to right-click on the picture she wants to open, go on "open with..." and select the application she wants to use. Somehow she doesn't like this solution and usually still ends up double-clicking and being annoyed that the computer didn't know which program she wanted to use ;-).

The question:

Is there a way to disable the default application for a file type so that Windows always asks which program to use to open the file?

  • You could add actions to the menu that shows when rightclicking on the file (Don't ask me how to do this as I am a GNU/Linux user)
    – FSMaxB
    Mar 26, 2013 at 9:45
  • You do know you could stop the double click from working :)
    – Dave
    Mar 26, 2013 at 9:55
  • @DaveRook Thanks, but I want to help my wife, not annoy her even more... It is the double-click she is constantly using and which behavior should be changed, not disabled.
    – Simon
    Mar 26, 2013 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


What I imagine should work is to:

  1. disassociate the existing program from all picture file formats (e.g. .jpeg, .png. tif, ...)
  2. disable the "always use the selected program to open this kind of file"
  3. modify the Open With or more specifically the Recommended Programs options

Now in Windows XP and lower too it was pretty to do step 1. But that option no longer exists on the UI for Windows 7. So instead will have to refer you to another answer:

How do you remove a default program association for file types in Windows 7?

As for step 2,


Step 3, you will have to modify the "Recommended Programs" list via registry:

How to customise the Recommended Programs list when choosing what to open a file with?


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .