When I right click on a jpg file in Windows Explorer (Windows 7), I see that there is an "Edit" menu item. If I click this item, it opens the image in MSPaint. Blah. I have Paint.NET installed, and I'd like to change the "Edit" action to open the image in Paint.NET.

How can I go about doing this?

4 Answers 4


I found this little program while surfing the web: Default Programs Editor. I think it is able to do what you want.

  • 5
    Bingo! That worked like a charm. Thanks for the info.
    – slolife
    Nov 12, 2009 at 17:38
  • 4
    I was searching for a way of doing the same thing for editing HTML files. The program worked well. Jun 7, 2010 at 6:57
  • 2
    Program's a goddamn life saver.
    – Cora
    Aug 1, 2015 at 0:24
  • 2
    This... this is beautiful. Why is this not a part of Windows already?
    – Rudey
    Aug 4, 2015 at 19:41
  • 1
    @Mafii that changes the 'open' context option, not 'Edit'. Sep 15, 2016 at 19:09

The registry key you want is:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Paint.Picture\shell\edit\command for .bmp files,
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command for .jpg files.

Change it to "C:\Path\to\your\image\program.exe" "%1" including the " " and it should work.

  • And for .ico files, the registry key to modify/create is HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\icofile\shell\edit\command
    – Otiel
    Apr 24, 2015 at 9:34
  • 3
    Modifying HKCR\SystemFileAssociations\image also did the trick for .png files on my system. Apparently this key overrides any commands defined in pngfile; presumably it's the same for .jpg files and jpegfile.
    – Lexikos
    Feb 28, 2016 at 2:27
  • 2
    To use the approach above you would need to know the name that Windows has for the file association (i.e. Paint.Picture). To find that part, run "assoc .bmp" on the command line. If you're looking to change the association on an extension other than ".bmp", you'd run "assoc .thatotherextension". Sep 15, 2016 at 19:24

Hey just thought i would chuck this in since this page proved useful. i have been trying to change the EDIT function to point to Notepad ++ rather than Notepad for .txt files for a while now. Its under

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\text\shell\edit\command registry key, just point it to your desired text editor.

kudos to CGA

  • I have the same problem with the notepad/notepad++ but if I go to regedit and search for the path you provided - there is not text\shell\edit etc.
    – static
    Jul 29, 2013 at 16:04
  • 1
    for me it was at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SystemFileAssociations Feb 2, 2016 at 15:44
  • This was exactly what I was looking for, so I'll happily offset pnuts -2 rep with a +10 for you :)
    – Bill K
    Jan 4, 2018 at 18:38

Right click a jpg file, choose properties, on the general tab click change in the field "Opens with". Browse to the Paint.NET .exe file and select it. Click open and then ok. Now your jpg files should automatically open with Paint.NET.

  • 5
    This changes the "Open" action, not the "Edit" action, if I'm not mistaken.
    – Snark
    Nov 11, 2009 at 9:11
  • Yes it does but it also should add Paint.NET to the "open with" context menu entry which essentially gives the OP the alternatives he wants.
    – CGA
    Nov 11, 2009 at 12:20
  • 4
    While good information, this is not what I am looking for. I like what Open does, and don't want to change it. I really am looking to change the Edit context menu.
    – slolife
    Nov 11, 2009 at 16:44
  • 1
    I think I found the registry key which controls this context menu: "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command" Change the value in the default string to your Paint.NET path. In my case I changed it to Xnview like this: "C:\Program Files (x86)\XnView\xnview.exe" "%1" Like always when editing the registry, be careful, taking a system restore point before any changes is a good idea.
    – CGA
    Nov 12, 2009 at 15:05

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