I regularly introduce all kinds of new, obscure file extensions to my system. For this explanation, I do not have any association with .xyz files.

Say I create file.xyz. It has the default dog-eared page icon (first in shell32.dll) because it is unassociated.

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If I double click it, I get a prompt regarding how to associate it.

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After clicking "More options", there is a bunch of programs which are suggested.

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I have some 30 suggestions for file extensions never seen by my system. For the most part, I just want to associate them with Notepad2, which is near the bottom of the list. I don't think I have ever wanted to open any file with my graphics driver UI.

Where is the list of these suggested programs, or how do I remove some of them?

  • 2
    I've seen that question. None of its answers answers mine.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 7 '15 at 1:47
  • 2
    Let's give @Steven the bounty.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 8 '15 at 4:31


Add the following string value to the registry:


Source: How to Exclude an Application from the Open With Dialog Box for Unassociated File Types - Windows Dev Center

Note: The source article describes Windows 7, but I tested in Windows 8.


Registry commands

reg add HKCR\Applications\7z.exe /v NoOpenWith /t REG_SZ
reg add HKCR\Applications\7zG.exe /v NoOpenWith /t REG_SZ
reg add HKCR\Applications\AcroRD32.exe /v NoOpenWith /t REG_SZ

Before and after screenshots

Before and after screenshots

  • I'm about to try it. If it works, I'll accept and award the bounty.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 8 '15 at 4:06
  • @Steven I failed to use regedit.exe to achieve this, and had to use the command line. reg add HKCR\Applications\BTSync.exe /v NoOpenWith /t REG_SZ did the trick. You may want to edit your answer to mention that regedit.exe works less reliably than cmd.exe in doing this. Further, great thanks for your effort: have an accept, a 300 bounty, and an upvote.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 8 '15 at 4:15
  • 1
    @Steven It is worth a note that the application will not always end in .exe for Windows Photo Viewer is called photoviewer.dll but behaves exactly the same.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 8 '15 at 4:25
  • @Scruffy I edited the answer to use reg add and changed ApplicationExe to ApplicationName.
    – Steven
    Jul 8 '15 at 13:20

I do not agree with the direction taken by this post and the accepted answer. I think that to solve such a trivial problem with multiple registry hacks and by mutilating the Open With menu, is a heavy-handed approach that will cause more trouble than it is worth. Knowing how to change the registry does not mean that we should. In your case, you are planing to edit 30 file extensions in the registry, which in my opinion is exaggerated and will be hard to undo later on.

There are quite a few alternative solutions that are much easier and also much less intrusive :

Add-ons to Windows Explorer

See the article Best Free Windows Explorer Add-ons for a large list of add-ons that allow adding custom buttons and context menu entries. It would be trivial to use one of them in order to add an "Edit by Notepad2" action.

Use an alternative file manager

See Best Free File Manager for more advanced Windows Explorer alternatives. Most of these can call a file-viewer or a file-editor via a function-key and/or a context-menu entry, and also contain a light-weight file-viewer, where the viewer & editor programs are configurable.

Customize the context-menu

See the article 5 Free Tools To Manage The Context Menu In Windows for tools that can add any action you wish to the right-click context menu, not limited only to the Explorer.

  • 1
    No thanks, mate. The answer from @Steven has solved the problem. I don't want to have to resort to Explorer addons for something like this nor an alternative. Your suggestion regarding editing the context menu strikes me as contradictory seen as you are advocating for not registry editing. Here, have a down vote.
    – Scruffy
    Jul 8 '15 at 22:36
  • 1
    @Scruffy: I was advocating one registry change against 30, and using a GUI to ensure against human errors. You might like Steven's answer better, but that does not mean that my answer is useless and merits a downvote. So have a downvote back.
    – harrymc
    Jul 9 '15 at 5:32

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