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Program to Open a File Type

Are you getting "This File Does Not Have A Program Associated With It" when you try to open a picture file? Mostly we have seen this with picture file types (and sometimes sound/music files). Or do you want to use a different program to open files?

Windows associates a program to be used to open a file when you double-click the file based on the extension (the dot and three or four letters at the end of the file name). (The extension indicates the file type.) Picture files usually have the extensions .jpg, .gif, .bmp, etc.

There are many choices for what program to use to open picture files and it is somewhat a personal choice. (So, we can't just "fix" this for everyone.) It depends partly on what you want to do with the picture, just view it, edit it, compress it, or what?

Windows XP starts out using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer as the program to open picture files. This is a good program for viewing pictures, but it cannot edit them. If you don't know what other program to use for pictures, then Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is probably the program for you.

As other programs are installed on your computer (such as Photoshop, programs that come with scanners, programs that come with cameras, programs that come with picture CDs, etc.), they might have Windows change the program to open certain file types to the program that you just installed. However, that might not be what program you want to open those files. You can change Windows to use a different program to open specific file types.

Microsoft Office includes another program for dealing with pictures. Office 2000 had Photo Editor. Office 2003 has Microsoft Office Picture Manager (which can view, edit, correct, compress, and manage pictures).

You might need to set what program you want to open picture files because no valid program exists, resulting in the "This File Does Not Have A Program Associated With It" error when you try to open a file.

After you know what program you want to open a file type, you can change Windows to automatically use that program to open a given file type by the following steps:

  1. Run Windows Explorer. (The Windows Key + E, on many keyboards.)
  2. Find any file with that same extension.
  3. Right-click on the filename and select Open With ...
  4. Even if the program you want is already listed don't click on it. Instead, select Choose Program at the bottom of the list that's displayed.
  5. In the resulting dialog box, click on the program you want to use to view pictures.
  6. Check the box labeled "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file".
  7. Click the OK button.

This made your selection permanent. That particular file type will now be opened with the program you've selected.

You might need to repeat this procedure for each different picture file type (file extension) that you typically view. Fortunately that's usually only a handful.

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