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How to Set a Default Program for a Particular File Type in Windows 7

By default, Windows has assigned certain programs to be attributed to specific file types. For example, music files will initially run on Windows Media Player and webpage files will be opened in Internet Explorer. These programs are called default programs.

Assigning a default program

You can change the default program for web browsing, media playing, emailing, and other functions in your computer by the following procedures:

  • Go to Start (bottom-left of your screen by default).
  • Select Default Programs on the right panel.
  • Select Set your default programs.

In the window that appears, you can pick the program that will perform certain actions in your computer by default. Selecting Set this program as default will set all the file types that the program can read to run in it. Selecting Choose defaults for this program allows a user to specify which files to run in the program and which ones to not. In practice, this is useful if you want to open one type of music file in one program (e.g. *.mp3 files in iTunes) and another type of music file in another program (e.g. *.wma files in Windows Media Player).

Associating specific file types with a preferred program

For those who desire more control over their programs, you can manually associate each and every file type that your computer can recognize with a specific program:

  • Go to Start.
  • Select Default Programs.
  • Select Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
  • Select the file type/protocol that you want to edit.
  • Click on Change Program (at the top-right of the window).
  • Select the program you want associated with it:
    • o Select a program from the list.
    • o Click Other Programs for more choices.
      • o Click Browse if the program you want is not in the list and navigate to the .exe file of the preferred program, then click Open.
      • Click OK.

Associating unknown file types

If you come across a file type that isn’t recognized by windows (or a file type that hasn’t yet been assigned to a default program) you can associate it to any program, provided it is capable of reading it:

  • Right-click on the unrecognized file and select Open.
  • If the file has an extension (e.g. *.xzy), a Window will appear asking you what you want to do.
  • Click on the radio button beside Select a program from a list of installed programs and click OK.
  • If your file does not have an extension, you will be directed to the Open with window immediately.
  • From this window you can either select a program from the available list or you can select Browse to specify a different program.
  • If you want this file to be run in this program by default, click on the check box beside Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.
  • If this is a temporary case, uncheck that box.

The last procedure can be used as a shortcut for files that you recognize, but would like to run in another program. In this case, selecting Open with will bring up a list of programs. Selecting Choose Default Program will direct you to the Open with window. Selecting a program this way will associate the chosen file type with the specified program.

This guide should help users personalize the behavior of files and programs on their computers and also troubleshoot problems related to unrecognized/unknown file types.

How to update to the Final Release of Windows 7 from the Release Candidate (RC)

Before Microsoft finally released Windows 7, a Release Candidate (RC) version of the operating system was provided. If you are still running the RC version of Windows 7 then you must update it to the Final Release. The RC version was meant to provide Microsoft with feedback from their customers. Their feedback helped in fine-tuning Windows 7 and fixing any existing bugs before the final version was officially released.

Now that the Final Release version is available, the RC version will expire and become unusable. It is imperative that you either update your version or reinstall a previous version of Windows in order to minimize data loss. The Final Release version of Windows 7 will not expire.

Installing the Final Release version of Windows 7

The Final Release version of Windows 7, also known as Version 6.1 (Build 7600) can be purchased online from Microsoft’s official website. You can also buy it at a local retail store. It is important that you check your copy is genuine. Vendors may sell you a copied RC version or even a duplicate of the Final Release Version.

It is important to completely back up important files from your system before attempting to install your original Final Release version of Windows 7. This is because you are obliged to do a ‘clean’ install of the operating system during installation. This will be the second option labeled as a Custom Installation. This will completely format the disk partition that you decide to install your operating system in. You will have to reinstall all your programs as well.

Installing a previous version of Windows

If you have an original installation disc for a previous version of Windows, you can run it and reinstall it on your computer. This process will also require a clean install. You must back up all your work because the entire partition will be formatted and used for the version of Windows that you choose. You will also have to reinstall your programs after this procedure.

Implications of not replacing your RC versions of Windows

If you have not updated your version of Windows by June 1, 2010, then your copy has expired. Once Windows Genuine Advantage has identified your version of Windows as not genuine, these symptoms will begin to show:

  • A black desktop whenever you start Windows.
  • A Windows Activation notification telling you that your copy of Windows is not genuine.
  • Periodical restarting of your PC without the benefit of saving work that is open.

Not updating your RC version to the Final Release version will result in data loss. You can check which copy you are running by clicking the Start button and typing winver into the search box. If you are running Version 6.1 (Build 7600) then you have the Final Release copy. Anything other than these details will mean that you will eventually have to update your copy.

This guide was intended to help identify your copy of Windows and update it if necessary.

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003