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?


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

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    Bingo! That worked like a charm. Thanks for the info. – slolife Nov 12 '09 at 17:38
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    I was searching for a way of doing the same thing for editing HTML files. The program worked well. – Jeromy Anglim Jun 7 '10 at 6:57
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    Program's a goddamn life saver. – Cora Aug 1 '15 at 0:24
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    This... this is beautiful. Why is this not a part of Windows already? – Ruud Lenders Aug 4 '15 at 19:41
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    In XP there was a graphical interface to change and even add context menu options in the file association manager. Later versions of Windows have a different associations GUI where the interface is "simplified" (as in simple-minded) so we don't get all distracted by having too many options. This is exactly why I don't like Microsoft. – LinuxDisciple Sep 15 '16 at 19:14

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 '15 at 9:34
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    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 '16 at 2:27
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    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". – LinuxDisciple Sep 15 '16 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" just point it to your desired word 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 '13 at 16:04
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    for me it was at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SystemFileAssociations – Omid Aminiva Feb 2 '16 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 '18 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.

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    This changes the "Open" action, not the "Edit" action, if I'm not mistaken. – Snark Nov 11 '09 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 '09 at 12:20
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    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 '09 at 16:44
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    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 '09 at 15:05

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