In Windows 7, how can you add a non-"program files" application to the "Open With" options?

i.e. For instance, when I try to ... and browse the the path:


It doesn't show up in the "Open With">"Other Programs" section?...

Note: a different app shows up under the "Open With">"Recommended Programs" section, but it is not the program I want.

  • i couldn't understand what you mean. you want to open a file with a program (or file) which is not listed in "Open with" dialog? Feb 17, 2014 at 23:11
  • Have you tried OpenWithView? It won't associate a file extension with a program but it should help you to get a program into your "open with" list.
    – JC2k8
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:23
  • After you click OK to select the program, and browse in the dialog that appears, be sure to change the files of type to All Files. Doing so will allow you to navigate to any folder and pick the application you want.
    – martineau
    Feb 18, 2014 at 0:02
  • @Armin - yes, "Open With">[Browse]>{Select MyAppProg.exe} >?> then it does not show up in the "Open With">"Other Programs" section in order to select. Feb 18, 2014 at 1:18
  • @JC2k8 Ideally I'd like to not use an external program... if I can't solve it otherwise, then I'll try it. Feb 18, 2014 at 1:19

2 Answers 2


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

Add to "Recommended Programs" section of the Open With dialog

NOTE: In Windows 7 this will also show on the "Open with" context menu for registered file types (see image below).

enter image description here


Find or add a subkey of your chosen extension i.e ".bin", add or select subkey "OpenWithList" and add a REG_SZ value with a name a to z depending on existing entries just use the next available letter and set the value to the name of your application executable. This may mean having an entry already available in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications that matches your executable name (see Add to "Other Programs" section of the Open With dialog section below).

You can control the order they appear by modifying the MRUList REG_SZ that will exist in the same subkey (see other extensions if you are unsure for how this is displayed).

You can also use subkey OpenWithProgids instead but this works differently and relies on you having a registered ProgId in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive of the registry.

Here is an example exported from my .asp subkey

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Add to "Other Programs" section of the Open With dialog


Create a Key called your executable for example "myapp.exe" using this as an example create the following structure (taken from a registry export .reg file);

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="\"C:\\myapp.exe\" \"%1\""

I think the "Other Programs" section is intended to hold the names of other programs which have registered themselves as openers of the filetype concerned. When I use the "browse" dialog, it works as expected, and the file opens in the program I select (or I get an error msg if the program is inappropriate (using Win Vista here).

You can always just put a shortcut to your app in your SendTo folder. Then you can send any file type you want to the app from the context menu.

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