How to Restore Default Apps for File Extension Type Associations in Windows 10
InformationA default app is the program that Windows uses automatically when you open a particular file type or protocol.
This tutorial will show you how to restore the default registry entries and app associations of a file extension type or protocol of your choice in Windows 10.
This can be helpful for example when a file extension type opens with the wrong app by default.
NoteDefault app associations for file extensions are a per user setting by default, so you will need to be signed in to the user account you want to restore the default associations of a file extension for.
- Option One: To Reset All File Associations to Microsoft Recommended Defaults
- Option Two: To Restore Specific File Type or Protocol Association to Default
OPTION ONETo Reset All File Associations to Microsoft Recommended Defaults
NoteThis option will reset all file type and protocol associations to the Microsoft recommended defaults for only your user account.
1. For how, see: How to Choose Default Apps to Open Files with in Windows 10
OPTION TWOTo Restore Specific File Type or Protocol Association to Default
NoteThis option will reset the associations, icon, and registry entries of the downloaded file type or protocol back to default.
The list of default file extension and protocol associations available to download in the table below is just a start for now, and is a work in progress.
I will constantly be adding more to the list, but if you need one that is not yet listed, then please post a request for it. I'll be happy to get it added to the list.
1. Click/tap on the link of the file type or protocol in the table below that you would like to restore the default associations of to download it's .reg file.
2. Save the .reg file to your desktop.
3. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to Merge it.
4. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.
NoteIf you are signed in as a standard user account, then you will also get a Cannot import type error. Just click/tap OK for it. The part of the downloaded .reg file that is responsible for all users can only be successfully merged by an administrator account. The downloaded .reg file will still restore the default associations for your account.
If the .reg file is not able to Merge, then double check in Default Programs to make sure that the .reg file extension has its Current Default program set as Registry Editor (C:\Windows\regedit.exe). Afterwards, try merging the .reg file again.
5. Sign out and sign in, or restart the computer to apply.
6. If you are logged in as a standard user and this still does not help, then have the administrator also merge the needed .reg file for the listed file extension or protocol below while logged into their administrator account.
7. When finished, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.
- How to Choose Default Apps to Open Files with in Windows 10
- How to Export and Import Custom Default App Associations for New Users in Windows 10
- How to Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10
- How to Fix 'An app default was reset' Error in Windows 10
- How to Hide or Show File Name Extensions in Windows 10
Not sure this is the right place for it (maybe another tutorial?), but here is another trick about default file-type associations. If you want to save your all your current associations to a file:
dism /online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\PATH\TO\FILE.xml
If you want to restore your associations as the new default associations for new users:
dism /online /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\PATH\TO\FILE.xml
This is really helpful when you Sysprep a machine because Sysprep wipes out your associations so that all new users get the Microsoft-default associations. You would make all your file-type associations, run the above command before Sysprep, and run the second command after Sysprep. All new users would then get, by default, the file associations that you originally set and saved to a file.
Not sure why Microsoft made this so convoluted, but the above commands are the 100% Microsoft-sanctioned way of doing it now.