How To Associate A File Type With A Specific App On Windows 11/10

When you double-click a file, Windows typically opens it with the default app associated with that file type. However, sometimes you may want to use a different app to open a specific file type. Here’s how to associate a file type with a specific app on Windows 11/10.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

To begin, open File Explorer by clicking the folder icon in the taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E on your keyboard.

Step 2: Navigate to the File Type

Next, navigate to the file type that you want to associate with a specific app. For example, if you want to associate all .pdf files with Adobe Acrobat Reader, find a .pdf file in File Explorer.

Step 3: Right-click the File

Right-click the file and select “Open with” from the context menu. This will display a list of apps that can open the file.

Step 4: Choose the App

Choose the app that you want to use to open the file. If the app you want to use doesn’t appear in the list, click “More apps” to see a full list of installed apps.

Step 5: Check the “Always use this app” Box

Check the “Always use this app” box if you want to use the selected app to open all files of this type. If you don’t check this box, you’ll need to repeat this process every time you open a file of this type.

Step 6: Click “OK”

Click “OK” to close the “Open with” window and apply your changes.

Step 7: Test the Association

Finally, test the association by double-clicking a file of the associated type. It should open with the app you selected.


Q: Can I undo a file association?

A: Yes, you can undo a file association by following the same steps and selecting a different app or unchecking the “Always use this app” box.

Q: What if I don’t see the app I want to use in the list?

A: You can click “More apps” to see a full list of installed apps, or you can browse for the app by clicking “Look for another app on this PC.”

Q: Can I associate multiple file types with one app?

A: Yes, you can associate multiple file types with one app by repeating these steps for each file type.

Q: Will this change affect other user accounts on my computer?

A: No, changes to file associations only apply to the user account that made the changes.

Q: What if I want to change the default app for all file types?

A: You can change the default app for all file types by going to Settings > Apps > Default apps and selecting the app you want to use.

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