Windows 10 installation broke some of my system associations. When I run some of broken apps, they often show a message, that they are not default anymore, proposing to make them default again.

However, if I choose to restore "defaultness", I get special Windows 10 message

enter image description here

If I follow its instructions, I get into stupid GUI, allowing me to change something, but without any ability to decide, what to change.

For example, the list of file extension associations contain no search feature, so I am unable to find which association I wish (program wish) to change.

How to overcome? Is it possible to let programs to restore associations in old way?


Note that the message appears when you run SOME APPLICATION. You don't know any file extensions or class names, associated with it. You know just application name, nothing more.

So the task is not to change FILE associations, but APPLICATION associations.

  • Did you try to "Settings" windows 10 app, then System, then default apps ? (I'm not properly understanding what is your matter) – Neil Mar 22 '17 at 13:40
  1. Setting > System > Default apps
  2. Scroll to the bottom and choose "Set defaults by app"
  3. Find the app that gave you the message
    • "Set this program as default" associates the app with everything it can open
    • "Choose defaults for this program" lets you pick and choose file extensions

Normally you can right click a file and select "open with", then "choose another app", choose the application you want to use to run the file and make sure to click the "Always use this app to open xxx files"

Long way round I know, and you have to do it for each type of file, but it works.

You can also go into settings and then System and there is a "Default apps" section that you can use to associate common types of files with certain programs.

Take a look at the "Choose default applications by file type" link at the bottom too.

  • Note that one can't know file extensions of the program. Suppose you run application AAAA and it says it is not default anymore. How would you infer file extension if you know just application name? – Dims Aug 24 '15 at 12:54

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