How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10

How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10: A File association associates a file with an application that can open that particular file. The job of File Type Associations is to associates a class of file with the corresponding application, for example, all the .txt files are open with a text editor commonly notepad. So in this, all the files are open with a default associated application that is capable of opening the file.

How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10

Sometimes file association gets corrupted and there is no way to remove File Type associations in Windows, in this case, say a .txt file will be opened with a web browser or Excel and this is why it’s very important to remove file type associations. So without wasting any time let’s see how to fix this issue with the below-listed troubleshooting steps.

How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10

Make sure to create a restore point just in case something goes wrong.

Option 1: Reset all file type and protocol associations to the Microsoft defaults

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click System.

click on System

2. Then from the left window pane select Default apps.

3. Click on Reset under Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults.

click Reset under Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults

4. That’s it you have reset all the file type associations to Microsoft defaults.

Option 2: Restore File Type Associations using DISM Tool

Note: Go to a working computer and run the Export command first then go back to your PC and then run the Import command.

1. Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt (Admin).

2. Type the following command in cmd and hit Enter:

dism /online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:”%UserProfile%\Desktop\DefaultAppAssociations.xml”

export default app association to a xml file using DISM command

Note: This would create the DefaultAppAssociations.xml file on your desktop.

default app association .xml file on your desktop

3. Go to your desktop and copy the file to a USB.

4. Next, go to the PC where the file association is messed up and copy the file to your desktop (this is important for the below command to work).

5. Now restore the original file association on your PC by typing the command:
Note: If you renamed the DefaultAppAssociations.xml file or you have copied the file to some other location than your desktop then you need to change the command in the red to the new path or the new name you chose for the file.

dism /online /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:”%UserProfile%\Desktop\MyDefaultAppAssociations.xml

Note: Replace the above path (C:\PATH\TO\FILE.xml) with the location of the file which you copied.

import defaultappassociations.xml file

4. Reboot your PC and you may have Restored File Type Associations in your PC.

Option 3: Registry Fix for removing File Association

1. Press Windows Key + R then type regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.

Run command regedit

2. Navigate to the following registry key:


delete the file extension from the registry in order to un-associate them

3. Now find the file extension for which you want to remove the association in the above key.

4. Once you have located the extension then right-click and select delete. This would delete the default file association of the program. For example: if you want to delete the default file association of .jpeg which is Photo Viewer then delete the .jpeg subkey in the above path and when you will again open the .jpeg file it will ask for default program to open the app with.

5. In order for above to take effect to reboot your PC or restart your explorer.exe

6. If you’re still not able to remove file associations then you need to also delete the same key in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

Once you do that you will be able to successfully Remove File Type Associations for the particular file but there are other options also if you don’t want to mess with the registry.

Option 4: Remove File Association for a particular app manually

1. Open Notepad and Click File > Save as.

click File then select Save as in notepad

2. Type the name with the extension .xyz for example,

3. Choose the desired location where you want to save the file.

4. Next, select “All files” under Save as type and then click Save.

save the notepad file with extension .xyz and select all files in save as type

5. Now right-click your file (whose file type association you want to remove) and select “Open with” then click on Choose another app.

right click then select open with and then click on Choose another app

6. Now checkmark “Always use this app to open .txt files” and then select Look for another app on this PC.

first check mark Always use this app to open .png files and then click Look for another app on this PC

7. Select All files from the bottom right drop-down and navigate to the file which you saved above ( in this case) and select that file and click Open.

open the file you created in the first step

8. If you will try to open your file you will face an error This app can’t run on your PC, no problem just go to the next step.

you get an error This app can't run on your PC

9. Once the File type association is confirmed just delete the file you created above ( Now it will force the .png file type (or the file which you select) to make a file association again, and you can choose the app in which you want your program to open with.

10. If you don’t want to choose the app every time you open the file then again right-click then select “Open with” then click Choose another app.

11. Now checkmark “Always use this app to open .txt files” and then select the app with which you want to open the file.

select the app with which you want to open the file

10. Reboot your PC to save changes.

Option 5: Remove File Associations with a 3rd party utility Unassociate File Types

1. Download the tool

2. Next right click on the zip and select extract here.

3. Right-click on unassoc.exe then select Run as Administrator.

right click on unassoc.exe and select Run as administrator

4. Now select the file type from the list and click “Remove file association(User).

Remove file association(User)

5. Once the File type association is removed you need to re-associate the file which is easy, when you again open the app it will ask you with an option to choose a program to open the file with.

6. Now the Delete button helps if you want to completely delete the file type association from the registry. Both the user-specific and global associations for the chosen file type is removed.

7. Reboot PC to save changes and this would successfully Remove File Type Associations.

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That’s it you have successfully learned How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10 if you still have any queries regarding this post feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.

28 thoughts on “How to Remove File Type Associations in Windows 10”

  1. Option 5: Third Party Utility does not work on Windows 10. The utility reports Windows 7 or Vista compatibility.

  2. Thank you very much for this information. I tried first the regedit, but didn´t work. ( My problem was that if I wanted to download a pdf file from my gmail, instead of showing the window of ” save as” it just saved the file in the downloads file and could change the name as well) So when I used the regedit, instead of downloading in chrome, it open an internet explorer window with the document. I tried option # 4 and problem solved!!
    Thanks again!

  3. okay, but this thread is titled “REMOVE DEFAULT APP ASSOCIATIONS”
    this protocol just reverts back to default settings (it just removes any modifications you may have done) so this doesn’t actually solve anything. If Microsoft recommends the wrong app then it can’t be fixed, apparently…

  4. Option 4 works and is very clever.

    The Regedit method doesn’t seem to work with Windows 11 (I accidentally associated .S extension of an assembly file with WordPad. I prefer to choose an application manually each time I open those files) The .S extension wasn’t listed and the assoc command couldn’t find the .S extension either.

    Method 4 worked like a charm.

  5. I haven’t tried any of these as yet, but did want to point out a problem with Option 1. On my computer (Win 10 Ent) the Default Apps shows up under Apps in the Control Panel…..not under System.

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