Quickly fix application file associations

Install a new application and it’ll often want to associate itself with particular file types (images, for instance). And that’s fine if it asks for permission, but some programs don’t, which means double-clicking those files later may not deliver the results you want.

The standard Window solution is to manually reassociate those file types with your preferred application. But Unassoc takes a simpler approach, allowing you to simply delete the new association, so that your system uses the global settings automatically.

The program is tiny (52KB), and portable, so there are no real hassles here. Just unzip it, launch the single executable and you’re immediately looking at a list of file types.

The idea is that you then select a particular file type where your user account settings aren’t appropriate: JPEG, say, if you’re tired of images opening in some graphics tool as opposed to the Windows viewer.

And then clicking “Remove file association (User)” will remove that user-level file association for you, leaving your PC to use the system settings instead. (If that button is greyed out then it means the file type has no user association.)

Plainly this isn’t going to save you a vast amount of time. After all, if you just wanted JPEGs to open in the Windows viewer, then you could simply go to the standard Windows tool, click JPEG > Change Program > Windows Photo Viewer > OK, and you’re done.

It may not always be so clear which application you need to reassociate with a particular file type, though, and Unassoc’s approach of simply deleting the new association is undeniably more straightforward. (Plus it can also remove entire file types without deleting the Registry, handy if you spot a few left behind by some long-uninstalled application.)

You do need to be careful, though, as if you click “Remove file association” there’s no “are you sure?” check: the file association is just deleted, immediately. So use Unassoc with caution, and ideally have a system restore point to hand, just in case of accidents.

Photo Credit: Lilya/Shutterstock

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