Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


8.1 Choose default program - always gives an error message

  1. #1


    The Netherlands
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 Pro

    8.1 Choose default program - always gives an error message


    Hey there,

    Started using my freshly installed Windows 8.1 Pro this week...
    After a few days I started noticing something odd and have no idea why this started happening.

    When i go to a file (any filetype...i tried like 10..) and click "choose default program..." in the context menu, the following error message will always come up:

    Click image for larger version

    Sure i can go to Config panel > Select default programs etc.
    But this is odd... since i am 100% confident it used to work fine before.
    I already did a 'sfc /scannow' checkup with an original 8.1 Pro x64 image but it says integrity is completely fine.

    Any idea what might be causing this?

    Could it be a random piece of software i uninstalled which was perhaps freeware and did not state it was Windows 8 compatible, leaving a cluttered registry key which is affecting this command from my context menu?
    (A little far fetched perhaps...but i really can't think of anything else).

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Try this and see if it makes any difference:

    Default File Associations - Restore in Windows 8

    Good luck
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    The Netherlands
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Try this and see if it makes any difference:

    Default File Associations - Restore in Windows 8

    Good luck

    Hello there,
    Thanks for the reply. You seem to be implying that a specific set of file associations would be broken (for some reason). I see a lot of regfiles in the download link of the article you linked to..
    Do you happen to know of a file extension i could use to test and see if the context menu option would still work?
    Because if that isn't the case this would not help me, but show that the problem is elsewhere (like the actual 'Open With...' dialog that windows is supposed to call).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Ness,

    If you don't have to many, you would need to download and merge the .reg file any affected file type to restore it's default associations.

    If you do have a lot, then you could do a system restore using a restore point (if available) dated before this happened to undo it.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Pick a filetype that you can't set a default association for (using your failed method). Click the specific .reg file for that filetype and merge it into the registry. Retest you method on that filetype.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    The Netherlands
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 Pro


    I will look into the System restore, since i was only thinking in terms of my Acronis backups before..
    But i left my System restore settings on default so maybe i can just go back an entire week to see if that fixes it.
    If not i'm guessing some handler of a non-windows8-validated piece of software messed up the handling of file associations. :/
    I will get back to you, thanks both!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    The Netherlands
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 Pro


    Hey guys,

    This is me getting back at you....

    I looked at system recovery and i noticed there were no recovery points there (i must have cleaned them manually or by the use of ccleaner before my automated acronis backups started).

    Anyhow, i downloaded the zip file with .reg fixes you linked to and tried the txt.reg for .txt files. Logged off, logged on again...sadly this did not help a single bit. The error message is still there.

    Any other ideas? (i do hope so).

    Funnily enough have you seen anyone else post this? I really wonder what made this occur....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hey Ness,

    In that case, see if this below will sort it for you.

    Open with - Opening to Notepad or a Error Fix - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    The Netherlands
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 Pro


    Hey Brink,

    Thanks again for your help. Sadly, still another no-go i'm affraid.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Ok. Please try this enhanced version of that one in the tutorial below to see how it may work. Restart the PC after merging it to fully apply.

    Open with "Choose default program" Error - Fix
    Last edited by Brink; 02 Nov 2013 at 23:57. Reason: added new tutorial link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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8.1 Choose default program - always gives an error message
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