Whenever I run Detect and Repair (or install a new graphics application) the file associations for my graphics files are hijacked. How can I get them back to how they were?

Article contributed by Dave Rado 

Unfortunately, in Word 2000+, every time you run Detect and Repair, it insists on associating the file extensions .JPG, .GIF and PNG with Microsoft Photo Editor. Some graphics packages are even more badly behaved, associating every graphics format in sight with their own program when you install their package.

Trying to change file associations using Windows Explorer’s Tools + Options + File Types dialog requires a PhD, and I wouldn’t advise mere mortals to try it. The following methods are accessible to ordinary humans, however.

Windows Explorer

Open Windows Explorer (Windows key+e); and, holding the Shift key down, right click on any file of the type you wish to re-associate (e.g. right-click on a .JPG file while holding the Shift key down); and select Open With.

When the Open With dialog finally appears (warning: it can take nearly as long as Godot did!), scroll down to your favorite graphics program and select it (they are sometimes listed in that dialog under weird names, unfortunately, making them hard to find – for example, Paintshop Pro is listed as PSP). Then check the box that says Always use this program to open this type of file, and click OK.


This method works for all mainstream graphics formats, but does not work for some other file types. For instance, if you have Word 2000+ installed, you can't associate .RTF files with anything other than Word (you can still use Open With method described above to open an RTF file in the application of your choice - or you can drag and drop the file into the application; but unfortunately, you have to do so every time).