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Have you ever tried to open a file, such as a PDF document, and Windows opens a completely different program than what you would normally expect? The reason why this may happen is because the file type is no longer associated with the program that it was originally intended to open with. In order to fix the problem, you will need to fix the "file association" for that file type so that it opens with a program that you define. This problem can occur when you install software or when you remove software from your computer. The good news is that this issue is very easy to fix and today, I am going to show you how to fix file associations in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Lets say that there is a PDF file on my desktop that does not open with Adobe Reader. To fix the file association with PDF files:

  1. Right-click the file and choose "Properties".
  2. Click the "Change" button.
  3. Locate the program you want the file to open with and click OK.
  4. Click Apply, then OK.

You have now changed that file type to open with the program you specified! Problem solved.

There is one more way to change file associations in Windows and that is by opening the Default Programs applet in the Control Panel. To see the entire list of file types recognized by Windows and manage them one by one:

  1. Click Start and search for "Default Programs".
  2. Click on Default Programs in the search results and click on "Associate a file type with a protocol or program".
  3. The entire list of file types that are known by Windows are listed in this window.
  4. Click on a file type to highlight it, then click on the "Change" button on the top-right.
  5. Choose the application that you want Windows to open when this file type is launched.

And that's it! You now know how to manage file types in Windows. As always, let me know if you have any questions.