Undo .exe File association.



I was using "open with" to associate a text file with notepad. I had mistakenly right clicked on a .exe file now all of my executables try to open in notepad and will not run. I acnnot undo this since there is no .exe listed under file types in the control panel file association list. Does anyone know how to fix this problem?


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Unzip and run the reg file attached.It will reassociate your *.exe files.

Last edited:
will this (exefix_vista.zip ) also work for other file associations (e.g., xlsfix_vista.zip)? Can it be done globally? (*.*fix_vista.zip)?

I currently use xp, but i am trying to help my friend who is... less than proficient. (also my next notebook - coming soon - will likely come with Vista :eek:)

thanks for any help!


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
It would probably be ok but for zip files and the like I use 7-zip which handles quite a few compression utility's (like .rar for instance) get it here:

I seem to have got lost somewhere... Let me try again:

My friend received .doc and .xls files as email attachments. Apparently, not realizing he did not yet have office reinstalled on his new notebook, he tried to open the first one with wordpad, also not realizing he was initiating an 'always open with' command. He tried the second with a similar result - looking at 'computerese.'

So, can someone tell me exactly, step by step, how to undo this so he can open files from email?

I appreciate any assistance.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.