How to Create an Association in the Set Associations Control Panel With Windows Vista

Written by leonardo r. grabkowski
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Windows Vista does an admirable job of determining the proper program to open a file with; however, it isn't perfect. The system automatically creates file associations between specific extensions and programs. You can modify or change this to create your own association. This is helpful if you want a music or video file to open with a specific media player; the same applies to any other file type.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click on your "Start" menu and access "Control Panel." Choose the subheading "Programs."

  2. 2

    Click on "Default Programs," and then choose "Associate a file type or protocol with a program."

  3. 3

    Wait a few minutes for the file extension list to populate; the system searches for all file extensions on your computer.

  4. 4

    Browse the list to find the file extension you want to create an association for. The list is in alphabetical order, by default.

  5. 5

    Click on the file extension, and choose "Change." Click on the arrow to expand your program selection; if you do not see the program you want to use, click "Browse" to find the program.

  6. 6

    Click on the program you want to be associated with the file extension; click "OK" to save the association.

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