OpenWith crashes File Explorer, Apps & Features blank


  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 10
       #1

    OpenWith crashes File Explorer, Apps & Features blank


    Like many Win10 users, I'm getting used to having to reset my file associations occasionally, for example, getting PDF files to open with Acrobat instead of Edge.

    Recently I'm seeing some related problems. Sometimes when I right-click a file and select Open with, Windows Explorer crashes. And when I open Apps & Features, it comes up blank.

    After running NOD32 and Antimalware, I ran sfc /scannow and DISM, but they didn't find any problems.

    To solve these problems, I opened the registry to

    COMPUTER\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts. Then I found the troublesome extension and looked at its OpenWithList entries. I found

    (1) some entries with exe files that were not on my PC
    (2) some entries that made no sense
    (3) some entries like abcd

    After backing up that section of the registry, I deleted some of the first two types of entries. In most cases, that solved the OpenWith crash. In other cases, I was able to open "Choose default apps by file type" and set the association there.

    Sometimes the Registry edits fail to solve the problem, and Apps & Features and Choose default apps... both come up blank.

    This has happened on both of my systems, which are very similar but used with different software and devices.

    Any idea how this happened or how I can deal with it?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 8,687
    Mac OS Catalina
       #2

    Not everyone is having that issue. Roll it back to before the problem started.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 35,424
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #3

    Sometimes when I right-click a file and select Open with, Windows Explorer crashes.
    This is a commonly reported problem and not specific to Win 10.
    You most probably need to find the shell extension added by something you've installed that's causing it and disable it.
    Try (free) programs
    shellmenuview
    shellexview
    by Nirsofer. Don't disable MS items (the programs have options to hide these).

    If you still can't resolve it, Autoruns by MS lists more, but be careful with it.

    I'm getting used to having to reset my file associations occasionally, for example, getting PDF files to open with Acrobat instead of Edge.
    That is a problem some Adobe users struggle with- there are several threads on that you can research. It's an Acrobat/Adobe problem, and varies depending on the particular product.

    Resetting associations is not something everyone has problems with in general, although the behaviour here can sometimes be annoying. A long while back some found associations were reset on reboot because of old versions of a couple of programs like winzip being installed.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 2
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    I think I've found a solution.

    I downloaded Nir Sofer's OpenWithView and disabled a few items that I didn't think I'd need. Now I can use OpenWith without any problem.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 35,424
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    Great - sounds appropriate.
      My Computers


 

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