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How to Remove File Association in Windows 10

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Written by Kelly Houstan

A file association associates a file with a particular application that is able to open the file. Just like that, a file type association associates a type of file along with a corresponding application. The file type is commonly determined via the filename extension. Such as, the .docx files may be associated with Microsoft Word. Just read this article to know all about How to Remove File Association in Windows 10

A single file extension might have up to one association for performing different actions as well. Specifically speaking, an application might also be associated along with a file extension to open this type of file. However, another program might also be associated to open and edit the files.

File type association is very helpful, however, it might get corrupted. As a result, a file will open along with another application that is not suitable. In this case, you guys should remove file type associations for the file to stop opening the file along with the associated app by default.

How to Remove File Association in Windows 10

Restore File Type Associations using DISM Tool

Note: Head to a working computer and run the Export command first. Then head back to your PC and then run the Import command.

  • Tap on Windows Key + X then chooses Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Then type the following command in cmd and hit Enter:

dism /online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:”%UserProfile%\Desktop\DefaultAppAssociations.xml”

Note: This would basically create the DefaultAppAssociations.xml file on your desktop.

  • Head to your desktop and copy the file to a USB.
  • Next, go to the PC where the file association is messed up and then copy the file to your desktop (this is essential for the below command to work).
  • Now restore the original file association on your PC via typing the command:
    Note: If you guys renamed the DefaultAppAssociations.xml file or you also have copied the file to some other location than your desktop. Then you have to change the command in the red to the new path or the new name you guys chose for the file.

dism /online /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:”%UserProfile%\Desktop\MyDefaultAppAssociations.xml

Note: Just replace the above path (C:\PATH\TO\FILE.xml) along with the location of the file which you copied.

  • Reboot your PC and you may also have Restored File Type Associations in your PC.

Remove File Association for a particular app manually

  • Open Notepad and tap on File > Save as.
  • Then type the name with the extension .xyz such as Aditya.XYZ
  • Select the desired location where you wish to save the file.
  • Next, select “All files” under Save as type and then tap on Save.
  • Now, right-tap your file (whose file type association you want to remove) and choose “Open with” then click on select another app.
  • Now checkmark “Always use this app to open .txt files and then choose to Look for another app on this PC.
  • Choose All files from the bottom right drop-down and navigate to the file that you saved above (Aditya.XYZ in this case) and choose that file and click Open.
  • If you will try to open your file you guys will face an error This app can’t run on your PC, no problem just head to the next step.
  • When the File type association is confirmed just delete the file you created above (Aditya.XYZ). Now it will force the .png file type (or the file which you choose) to make a file association again. Then you can choose the app in which you want your program to open.
  • If you don’t want to select the app every time you open the file then again right-tap then select “Open with” then tap Choose another app.
  • Now checkmark “Always use this app to open .txt files and then choose the app with which you want to open the file.
  • Now reboot your PC to save changes.

Reset all file type and protocol associations to the Microsoft defaults

  • Tap on Windows Key + I to open Settings then click System.
  • Then from the left window pane choose Default apps.
  • Tap on Reset under Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults.
  • That’s it you have reset all the file type associations to Microsoft defaults as well.

Registry Fix for removing File Association

  • Tap on Windows Key + R then type Regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.
  • Now navigate to the following registry key:


remove file association

  • Now find the file extension for which you guys want to delete the association in the above key.
  • When you have located the extension then right-tap and choose delete. This would delete the default file association of the program. Such as: if you want to delete the default file association of .jpeg that is Photo Viewer then delete the .jpeg subkey in the above path and whenever you will again open the .jpeg file it will ask for default program to open the app with.
  • In order for the above to take effect to reboot your PC as well as restart your explorer.exe
  • If you’re still not able to delete file associations then you have to also delete the same key in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

When you do that you will be able to successfully Remove File Type Associations for the specific file. However, there are other options also if you don’t want to mess with the registry.

Remove File Associations with a 3rd party utility Unassociate File Types

  • First, download the tool
  • Next right tap on the zip and choose extract here.
  • Right-click on unassoc.exe then choose Run as Administrator.
  • Now choose the file type from the list and tap on “Remove file association(User).
  • When the File type association is removed you have to re-associate the file which is easy. When you again open the app it will ask you along with an option to select a program to open the file with.
  • Now the Delete button helps if you guys want to completely delete the file type association from the registry. Both the user-specific and also global associations for the chosen file type are removed.
  • Reboot PC to also save changes and this would successfully Remove File Type Associations as well.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: How to Fix WiFi Greyed Out in Windows 10

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Kelly Houstan

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