1.    21 Jul 2017 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Antwerp
    Posts : 29
    windows 10 64-bit "home"

    How to force Win 10 to stick to apps I choose for any file type


    To whom may solve this galling problem:

    Since the inception of Win 10, to which I was almost forced to upgrade, despite being absolutely happy with Win 8, I have been confronted with several disturbing and downright annoying problems and quirks.

    Some I have been able to resolve thanks to third party tweaks, other keep recurring, especially now, after the recent major Windows 10 "creator" update - with which I was also forced to comply. Will these people at MS ever learn to stop harassing users?

    Be that as it may, this is the problem I have not been able to resolve, despite all efforts at changing things on every level in Settings - to name but one thing.

    Whatever I do, whatever I try - principally for much used image files: jpg and suchlike, and for Adobe pdf files - Windows 10 keeps reverting to its horrid Edge app for pdf, or html etc., and for image files to its even more horrid Photos app, which seems to have been designed a decade ago.

    My own preferences being of course Adobe Reader for pdf and all related files / and IrfanView 34 or 64 for most image files.

    So, how can I stop Windows 10 taking over my preferences, throwing them under the bus, and reverting to its own clunky apps?

    Again, I tried every possibility in Settings for linking files to apps and vice-versa: nothing doing.

    Before the latest major update, I had found a third party tweak, (Windows10-KB917607-x64), which worked perfectly for a time both with image and pdf files, then, after an interim Win update, the image tweak ceased to work, but pdf was still linked to Adobe Reader. But now, after that lengthy "creator" update, the tweak does not have any effect any more either. What a pain!
    Somehow, I managed to keep Edge away with a small third party tweak called "Edge Block", but that's a rather drastic (if reversible) measure, occasioning error messages, and obliging the user to launch a file with "Open With".

    So, if any other knowledgeable user knows how to get me out of that conundrum, i.e., just let me double click on any type of file and having it open with any type of app I have chosen - bypassing all Windows' choices in other words, I will be most grateful.

    As a small ancillary remark, which needs not to be answered since I found a ready solution: at the initial Win 10 update, it got rid of a few apps it pretended not to be compatible with (a ridiculous assumption in my case, because I can arrange for emulating previous windows) and that without asking me whether I agreed or not (in one case I had even to retrieve a program I use often from an old computer of mine!) And of course, it got also rid, without any explanation or reason whatsoever of my trusted Windows Solitaire (aka Patience), which can fortunately be retrieved and installed via a third party link.

    To add insult to injury, despite my Windows' language being Dutch, all so-called apps from Windows which come with Windows 10 are in French!!! No way to change that. And phone calls to MS here in Brussels result in unearthly mumbles and suggestion to reinstall - hold your seats - the whole hard disk!!!

    It's to drive someone to despair. If I didn't despise Apple even more, I would have changed to that even more "I know what's good for you idiotic user" operating system since long. What a mess.

    But if there is someone out there who can help me out, I will virtually kiss her or his hands repeatedly

    Thanks for reading so far.

    Haku
    Last edited by haku; 21 Jul 2017 at 05:26.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    21 Jul 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,025
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    I think your question is something like "How do I prevent my default program associations changing?"
    I can't answer that directly, but those who use Adobe (search the forum) have reported problems much more frequently than any others - at least that's my impression.
    E.g.
    Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Edge and default PDF-reader. - Windows 10 Forums

    Here on line URLs to pdf's were reported as opening in Edge if Edge was the browser in use, although the pdf default was Adobe. Is that your case?
    How do I disable the useless Edge PDF Reader??? - Page 4 - Windows 10 Forums

    First, here's how to set them - I assume you know that, and that you can't set program associations from within a program.
    Choose Default Apps in Windows 10 Windows 10 Apps Features Tutorials

    Second, even though you've set associations you may find that after installing a program which has registered itself as being able to handle a particular file type, you will be asked whether you want to continue to use the associated program again. This can be annoying, but I suppose is meant to prompt you that you have the option of changing to the program you've just installed.

    Third, a couple of older version programs (Winzip was one) were reported a long time back as causing defaults to be lost or changed on restarting.

    There have been other threads on this topic, but none I've noticed for a while, but could have missed some.

    My personal experience? Defaults are normally stable. A couple of times a year I may find a change to some multimedia file type or pdf has occurred, without me being able to work out why. However, I don't use Adobe.

    You may find this of interest:
    Export and Import Default App Associations for New Users in Windows Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Last edited by dalchina; 21 Jul 2017 at 07:51.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    21 Jul 2017 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,520
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Do you suffer from a string of 'An app default was reset...' notifications?

    Apparently the reason some older apps (and Infranview in particular) cause this problem is...
    Quote Originally Posted by (scroll down to the comments section)
    The infranview thing:
    The file association reset is probably bring triggered because it modifies the UserChoice registry key for setting associations (which was deprecated ages ago). This key shouldn't be modified, and when it is, it results in automatic reset to Windows 10 defaults.
    Has Windows 10 reset your default apps back to Microsoft stock?
    Setting up Windows 10 Pro

    The solution is to work out which app is using deprecated methods and triggers the reset, then look for the latest update which should be compatible with Windows 10. In your case it is almost certainly Infranview. In the thread linked to above updating Infranview solved all default resets. The others that get reset (like your Adobe, and for that thread Firefox) are just collateral damage when Infranview triggered the reset.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  4.    21 Jul 2017 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,520
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by haku View Post
    ...And of course, it got also rid, without any explanation or reason whatsoever of my trusted Windows Solitaire (aka Patience), which can fortunately be retrieved and installed via a third party link.
    An 'explanation' (of sorts)...
    Quote Originally Posted by Microsoft Windows 10 System Requirements
    Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed when installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" and "Microsoft Minesweeper".
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/wind...re-deprecation

    ...annoying! I use Sol.exe copied from and old Windows XP box (you'll need the cards.dll too). That version never gets removed (too old to be noticed).
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    21 Jul 2017 #5
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Antwerp
    Posts : 29
    windows 10 64-bit "home"
    Thread Starter

    Hi Dalchina and Bree,

    Thanks for the speedy reaction.

    Actually, I had tried out several of the proposed tweaks - including the registry corrections - to no avail.

    However, what pdf Adobe is concerned, the proposal to set Adobe Reader within the program as the default handler (in Settings/General), seems to do the trick. At least for the moment. Does seem to stick. We will see tomorrow after a reboot if luck still holds.

    Having image files stick to the chosen program seems a more problematic situation. Got the very latest version of Irfanview, so updating makes no sense. So, I guess that, for the moment, I will have to right click and "open with" to get to my preferred app.

    Why oh why must it all be so complicated and convoluted. Imagine, the update even managed to do away with my defaults for printing. Result: several programs did not launch properly because they needed a default printer.

    And that is only the tip of the Microsoft iceberg of Win 10 annoyances.

    Thanks again! Bye!

    haku
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    22 Jul 2017 #6
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,025
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Adobe seems to be the exception that proves (tests) the rule that defaults aren't managed from within programs (a security 'feature').

    Partly managing defaults is a learning curve, as with anything new, partly once there are no conflicts (3rd party programs) with the system, it's stable. But I agree, more have stumbled in this area than with past OS's.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    22 Jul 2017 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Antwerp
    Posts : 29
    windows 10 64-bit "home"
    Thread Starter

    Thanks again for the prompt reply.
    The bad news: Setting Adobe Reader as pdf handler within that program's General Options only works during a session. After a boot or reboot, the "Anniversary" update Win 10 reverts to its Edge shenanigans. Actually it reverts after a refresh, too.

    No learning curve, here. A proper scandal. Coz it's obvious that Microsoft want to ram Edge as a kind of browser down the users' throats in order to collect hits and their financial rewards in future. I know, Apple is even worse, but at least they admit they are a quasi dictatorial system. Sometimes one would wish the days of Fortran, Cobol and even Pascal were here again. What unconscionable misbehaviour!That's what the so-called European commission commissars should go after, not harassing Google like they do. But they barely know how to find a Enter key there.

    But I am confident that somehow, somewhere at this wonderful forum will come up with a general solution to all these annoyances. They always do.

    Meanwhile I'll have to live with that digital harassment, I guess.

    Thanks again. I'll mark the thing as "solved" even if it isn't.

    Haku
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    22 Jul 2017 #8
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,025
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    I don't use Adobe- any of the free readers work and stay associated with pdfs - no reversion to Edge.

    Suggest you check up on solutions for Adobe as there have been plenty of similar reports.

    http://techdows.com/2015/08/how-to-c...indows-10.html
    - try the last option using the Control Panel

    This may be of interest:
    Change the Windows 10 Default PDF Reader from Microsoft Edge
    - scroll down to
    Reset Your Default Apps Fast After a Windows 10 Update
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  9.    22 Jul 2017 #9
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Antwerp
    Posts : 29
    windows 10 64-bit "home"
    Thread Starter

    Hi again Dalchina!

    Neither solutions works. I thought for a moment that the nifty "Default Programs Editor" would do the trick, but no - whatever way I apply it (even doing the registry changes as an option). This problem is simply obstinate.

    I will now go over to a drastic, disagreeable measure. I know someone high up at Microsoft in Brussels and will call him. But he'll probably refer me to one of their technicians with a free ticket, and the result will be, as always with Microsoft: reinstall your HD. That's the best they can usually come up with when they have no solution.

    But I also carry the biggest possible stick over here in tiny Belgium: the linguistic stick. Indeed, for whatever reason, all Microsoft "free" apps coming with Windows 10 are in French - and that while my OS is configured for Dutch. This is politically such a hot topic over here, that I can apply untold pressure - or rather have it applied by someone higher up.

    It saddens me to have to do this to that Microsoft person, but if they can't learn the decent way, they'll have to learn it the hard way. This is too much of a harassment and loss of precious work time.

    I fear we'll stay otherwise stuck in a vicious circle - judging from the number of complaints we now find on Internet about this matter (not the Dutch-French problem, but those default apps).

    Such arrogance is unworthy of a big company.

    haku
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    22 Jul 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,520
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by haku View Post
    This problem is simply obstinate.
    Do you get notifications like "an app caused a problem with the default app setting for pdf files so it was reset to MS edge"? If so, as explained earlier, this is triggered by another app that uses deprecated methods of setting default associations.

    We have eliminated Infranview as the culprit, so some detective work would be needed. These notifications can occur quite a few seconds after the guilty app was used. It's not generally opening such an app that causes the problem, more often it is the Open or 'Save as' dialog that is the trigger (it may well check on the defaults when you use it). When it happens, ask what actions you recently took that may be the cause, then look for updates for that app.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 


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