How do I Manually add a Program to the "Default Programs" list in Windows 7 ?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Jordan, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. JudyHarris

    JudyHarris New Member

    Jan 15, 2014
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    I have looked up the difference between Windows Live Mail and Windows Hot Mail and it seems Hotmail is web-based. I don't want that. I want a standalone program, like the longed for Outlook Express. Windows Live Mail is the closest thing. I don't want a web-based mail client, but thanks for all your suggestions.
  2. Gavin Oscur

    Gavin Oscur Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2014
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  3. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2012
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    removed by poster
  4. RobertPhillips

    RobertPhillips New Member

    Oct 1, 2016
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    In order to associate a file type or protocol with a program that windows doesn't recognize (.epub for example) you must add a registry key for that type of file under regedit.exe.

    Open start menu, type regedit. Once you open the registry editor go to:


    You will see the top of the list are the types of files that your windows version has recognized. Highlight the Classes Key and right click it. Select New and Key.

    Rename the Key to whatever type of file you are trying to add to the extension list. Once you have created the Key and renamed it. Hit Refresh (F5) under View tab at the top of the Registry Editor. This will reorganize the Key to be alphabetized along with current Keys under Classes.

    Locate the Key that you created. Highlight it and repeat the process. This time create a new Key under the file type that you created and name it ShellEx.
    Once you have done that. Close registry editor. You may be asked to restart your computer to save changes.

    If so, once you are logged back in. Now you can go to Control Panel / Programs/ Default Programs / and select Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

    The file extension that you created should be populated there now.
    Scroll down to find your extension and Windows will have selected a random default program. Highlight the file extension and select Change Program.

    You should have a pop up window that recommends some defaults. You will also see a button that says Browse.. Select this option if the program you want to use doesn't appear.

    ( If you need to Browse for the program but don't know where to look for the program you want to use. Go back to the Start menu / All Programs / to find the program that you are searching for. Once you locate it in this menu. Right click the program you want to assign and select Properties. It will give you the location of the Execution file needed.)

    Simply go to the location of the Execution file that you wish to use, Click it, and select Open.

    Now you should have a fully associated program with that type of file extension.

    A bit wordy, but I hope that helps.

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