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"Default Programs" Control Panel Does Not Set Associations


Daddyman

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Member
Posts
78
#1
In Windows 8.1 Update 1 I cannot change file associations whether I try to do so from Control Panel or from within an application. For example, here's the popular VLC Media Player file association preferences:

VLC1.JPG
I cannot select (put a check mark) or de-select (remove a check mark) from any individual file association. If I click on the selection box, nothing happens. I have the same problem even if I open the application with elevated privileges. I can check the Select All box and all associations will be selected, but that's all I can do.

I can go to individual files and choose Open with and that association will stick, but it's far easier to select an application's default file associations at one time.

How can I make the Default Programs control panel set file associations?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

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mvp
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23,452
#2

My Computer

System One

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    64-bit Windows 10
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Daddyman

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Posts
78
#3
Hi and thanks once again for your help.

In Option One, whether I choose Set this program as default or Choose defaults for this program, no changes occur if I click on a selection box: Checkmarks are not added to unchecked boxes and checkmarks are not removed from checked boxes.


In Option Two, the settings are identical to what I have if I open the Default Programs control panel and choose Associate a file type or protocol with your program. Same functionality - it just looks different in the Modern interface. I can change a file association this way, but this method has two shortcomings:

  1. I have to scroll through all the hundreds of file extensions listed and choose which I want to associate with VLC. Besides being tedious, there are plenty of file extensions that I don't recognize that perhaps should be associated with VLC Media Player.
  2. This method doesn't allow me to remove a file association; it only allows me to change a file association to something else. For example: I can't remove the association between .bin files and VLC. I can only change the association to another program.

I should be able to succeed with the steps in Option One - why can't I?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Daddyman

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Posts
78
#4
I have a partial solution to my problem. It seems that beginning with Windows 8 users can no longer remove a file association - you can only change a file association to something else. That would explain why I cannot remove a checkmark in Control Panel > Default Programs > Set your default programs (Step One in the tutorial.). Fortunately, there is a work-around for this.


This work-around has probably been published elsewhere but I saw it in this thread. Here's how to remove a file association in Windows 8/8.1:

  1. Create a text file (.txt) on the desktop.
  2. Change the file (rename it) to give it an .exe file extension.
  3. Right click on any file with the extension whose association you want to remove, then go to Properties > Change. The "How do you want to open this type of file?" dialog box opens.
  4. Click on the "More options" link.
  5. A list of programs will come up. Scroll to the bottom and click the "Look for another app on this PC" link.
  6. Browse to the .exe file you created and associate the extension with it. Hit Apply and OK.
  7. Now delete the .exe you created and your extension has no associated application.


So far so good, but I still can't add a checkmark in Control Panel > Default Programs > Set your default programs.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

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mvp
Posts
23,452
#5
Odd. I'm not sure why you can set them using "Open with", but not in Default Programs.

Is this just happening with VLC file associations?

Have you already tried to see if you may be able to set the associations in VLC itself to make it the default program?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Daddyman

Member
Member
Posts
78
#6
Okay, this is a little strange, but here is where I'm at right now.

In Control Panel > Default Programs > Set your default programs I went through every program listed there. I definitely cannot remove a checkmark from any file association box that is already checked. However, I can add a checkmark to a file association box that is not already checked - despite what I wrote earlier - and the file association sticks. I have to use the work-around described above to remove the file association I selected. I don't know why I couldn't add a checkmark before but I can now.

I also chose three programs that let you select file associations within the program. Typically these are media players so I chose VLC and QuickTime but I also chose ImgBurn (disc burning.) I definitely cannot remove a checkmark from any file association box that is already checked. However, I can add a checkmark to a file association box that is not already checked in QuickTime and VLC - despite what I wrote earlier - and the file association sticks, but I cannot add a file association in ImgBurn.

I don't know why I can now add a file association when I couldn't before, but I definitely cannot remove a file association without the workaround.

If Windows 8/8.1 really doesn't let users remove file associations, that's just the way it is. But the fact that I can add file associations in VLC and QuickTime but not in ImgBurn tells me this is basically a registry keys permission issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,452
#7
Hopefully that will reduce how many you will need to use "Open with" for.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone