Issue with OpenWith.exe freezed after you cancel file requester

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  1. hexaae's Avatar
    Posts : 153
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #1

    Issue with OpenWith.exe freezed after you cancel file requester


    I have a strange issue with OpenWith.exe, when you have to select the assigned program to a file type.
    The problem is that when I CANCEL the action the task OpenWith.exe hangs forever blocking also Properties panel. If I choose a new app or click out of the list it closes correctly and nothing strange happens. To better describe and understand the issue I've made a short video:


    The real thing that puzzles me is that it happens even in Safe Mode! No Shell Extensions or strange drivers loaded etc.
    Maybe it's a Windows 10 19042.906 bug triggered only on some HW/OS configurations?

    Any good idea to professionally track down the issue are welcome.
    Here are a some dumps I've done of the explorer + openwith tasks when it happens: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.

    EDIT
    To easily (?) reproduce the above bug in the video do a few further steps:
    - enable 'Show libraries', see Show libraries in File Explorer (microsoft.com)
    - .... (follow steps in the video)
    - once you are at the file requester to pick the default viewer, EXPAND the libraries tree and click on (enter in) last library listed (usually 'Videos')
    - wait a few secs for it to refresh
    - now Cancel the file requester
    Last edited by hexaae; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:20. Reason: further steps added
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,630
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Sorry, can't meaningfully view the video. It's halfway through before the rendering is clear- before that it's evidently rendered at low resolution, and then it's too quick. Maybe someone else can help, or you could provide a screenshot or 3.

    I'm not familiar with having to use Openwith.exe as such to assign defaults. Open with as a context menu, yes.
    Why do you feel you need to use that?
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  3. hexaae's Avatar
    Posts : 153
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Sorry, can't meaningfully view the video. It's halfway through before the rendering is clear- before that it's evidently rendered at low resolution, and then it's too quick. Maybe someone else can help, or you could provide a screenshot or 3.I'm not familiar with having to use Openwith.exe as such to assign defaults. Open with as a context menu, yes.
    Why do you feel you need to use that?
    Click on the gear icon and force [email protected] to fix bad low-res at the start of the video (YouTube error). It shows the issue of OpenWith.exe hanging and freezing Properites panel too, when I click Cancel on the file requester to select the new default app to assign...
    I'd like to fix it, I know I can do the same action by other ways but I'd like to fix this strange issue in my OS. It happens also in Safe Mode, which is suspiciously strange...

    - - - Updated - - -

    It seems something like this was already reported since 2017, so considering also I can reproduce it in Safe Mode I'd say it could be another random and obscure Windows bug never solved happing on some systems...
    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...f-9341544df7f1 (see point 5)
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  4. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 4,190
    20H2 64 Bit Home
       #4

    dalchina said:
    Sorry, can't meaningfully view the video. It's halfway through before the rendering is clear- before that it's evidently rendered at low resolution, and then it's too quick. Maybe someone else can help, or you could provide a screenshot or 3.

    I'm not familiar with having to use Openwith.exe as such to assign defaults. Open with as a context menu, yes.
    Why do you feel you need to use that?
    FYI: I had a similar problem a while back. openwith.exe runs and hangs automatically when changing a file associaion via right click open with > choose program context menu. Now fixed.

    Issue with OpenWith.exe freezed after you cancel file requester-openwith.jpg

    I don't remember how I fixed it.
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  5. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 4,190
    20H2 64 Bit Home
       #5

    Probably some sort of conflicting file association issue. Possibly down to third party software.
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,260
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    hexaae said:
    ... I'd say it could be another random and obscure Windows bug never solved happing on some systems...

    Well, I've reproduced your steps in the video, to change the 'open with' association from the Change button on the Properties page of a file then 'look for another app on this PC', and I got no such hang after I clicked Cancel. Win10 Pro x64, 19042.906. I then tried several other machines, none of them hung.

    Then I tried it on a Win10 Home x64, 19042.906 machine and the Properties window hung, exactly as you describe (and not just for a .xlsx file, I tried .txt too). I can't see any obvious difference between this machine and all the others that don't hang.

    I can also confirm that OpenWith.exe does not close if you cancel when using any other way to set file associations by browsing to find another app, such as the 'Open with' context menu. It doesn't cause any obvious hang though, as there's no 'Properties' window waiting for it to close.

    It's a real puzzle, and I haven't (yet) found any way to solve it (bar ending OpeWith.exe from Task Manager).
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,260
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Callender said:
    Probably some sort of conflicting file association issue. Possibly down to third party software.
    I don't think so. All my machines have much the same software installed, and I don't use any 3rd-party AVs. Only one has this problem.
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  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,260
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    Interesting discovery @hexaae

    This problem only affects one account on the 'problem' PC. If I sign in with a different account OpenWith.exe closes normally.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,260
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #9

    dalchina said:
    I'm not familiar with having to use Openwith.exe as such to assign defaults. Open with as a context menu, yes.
    Why do you feel you need to use that?
    Windows runs C:\Windows\System32\OpenWith.exe every time you click on 'Find another app on this PC'. It's a standard part of the OS and we all use it without noticing whenever we pick an app.
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  10. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 4,190
    20H2 64 Bit Home
       #10

    The suggested fix seems to be to restore file associations to Microsoft defaults. The downside is that you'd need to re-do any custom file associations.

    Restore Default File Type Associations in Windows 10
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