Troubleshooting EXE File Association Problems

Question:

What steps should I take to resolve the issue of every EXE file opening with a single program?

Answer:

  • Go to `Settings` > `Apps` > `Default Apps`.
  • Click on `Reset` under `Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults`. This will reset all file associations to default.

Step 2: Edit the Registry Manually (Advanced)

  • Press `Win + R`, type `regedit`, and hit `Enter` to open the Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to `HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe`.
  • Delete the `UserChoice` folder.
  • Restart your computer.

Step 3: Use a .reg File to Reset Associations

  • Create a `.reg` file with the following content and run it:
  • “`plaintext

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\UserChoice] “`

  • After running the `.reg` file, restart your computer.

Step 4: System Restore

  • If the issue persists, perform a system restore to a point before the problem started.

Step 5: Use Third-Party Software

  • There are third-party utilities available that can fix file associations. Use them with caution and ensure they are from a reputable source.

Step 6: Perform a Clean Installation of Windows

  • As a last resort, if none of the above steps work, consider backing up your data and performing a clean installation of Windows.
  • Remember,

editing the registry can be risky, and it’s essential to back up the registry before making any changes. If you’re not comfortable with these steps, seek assistance from a professional.

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