How to change file associations in ubuntu

Written by chris hoffman Google
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How to change file associations in ubuntu
Open a file in its default application by double-clicking it or right-clicking it and clicking "Open." (desktop folder image by Sean Gladwell from

Ubuntu Linux is a free, open source operating system. Like other operating systems, Ubuntu Linux has file associations that are user-configurable. When you double-click a file in Ubuntu's file browser or on its desktop, the file launches in the default program. For example, when you double-click an image file, it launches in the default image viewer. You can change the default program files launch in by changing the file association's in the "Properties" dialogue for a file of that type.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open your home folder in the file browser by clicking "Places" and "Home Folder" at the top of the Ubuntu desktop.

  2. 2

    Navigate to a folder containing files by double-clicking folder icons in the "File Browser" window. Navigate to the "Examples" folder which contains examples of common file types by double-clicking "Examples" in the "File Browser" window.

  3. 3

    Right-click a file in the "File Browser" window and click "Properties." For example, change the file associations for .mp3 files by right-clicking an .mp3 file in the "File Browser" window and clicking "Properties."

  4. 4

    Click the "Open With" tab at the top of the "Properties" window.

  5. 5

    Add a program to the "Open With" list by clicking the "Add" button under the "Open With" list, clicking an application in the "Add Application" window and clicking "Add."

  6. 6

    Change the file association for the selected file type to another program by clicking it in the "Open With" list and clicking "Close."

  7. 7

    Reset the file association to Ubuntu's default file association by clicking the "Reset" button under the "Open With" list and clicking "Close."

Tips and warnings

  • Programs in the "Open With" list appear when right-clicking a file and clicking "Open With" in the right-click menu.

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