Windows associates data files with applications so that the appropriate program launches automatically when the icon or name of the data file is clicked. For example, if a GIF image is associated with the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, whenever a file with the .GIF extension is selected, the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer will launch and open that file.This procedure simply saves a step. You can always launch the program first and then select which data files to open.All major file types are listed and pre-associated with the applications that come with Windows, but you can choose another program to open them. If a particular file type is not in the list, you can enter it and then associate it.
Change Association This TimeSometimes you may want to open a data file with a different program. To open a file by choosing the application, see Win Open With. Change Association PermanentlyTo associate the same data files all the time to one program, do the following. If the program is not in the list, you must know the name of the executable program file (.EXE extension) and its folder location (path) on the hard disk (see Win folder organization).Windows 7, 8.1 and 101. Start menu/Control Panel.2. Select Default Programs.3. Select Associate a file type or protocol...4. Highlight a file type and select Change Program.Windows XP1. Launch Explorer.2. Select Tools/Folder Options/File Types.3. Scroll down to the file type you want and click the line.4. Click Advanced.5. Under Actions, double click "open."6. Edit the contents of "Application used to perform action:" either by typing in a new path or selecting Browse, locating and double clicking the .EXE file. Creating Brand New AssociationsYou can associate an application with a file type that has not been opened or associated before.Windows 7, 8.1 and 101. Launch Explorer.2. Right click the file you want to associate and select Properties.3. Select Change on Opens With line.4. Select a program from a list. Windows XP1. Launch Explorer.2. Select Tools/Folder Options/File Types.3. Click New.4. Type the file extension into "File Extension."5. Click OK.6. Click Advanced, then New.7. Type open into the "Action" field.8. Type in the path of the .EXE file in "Application used to perform action." either by typing in a new path or selecting Browse, locating and double clicking the .EXE file.