How to change file associations in Windows XP

You may want to change the association of a file name extension from one program to another. For example, you may prefer to open picture files (.jpg) in your favorite graphic editing tool so that you can edit or view the pictures. By default, file name extensions for known file types are hidden.

To See All File Extensions

  1. On the Tools (Extras) menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options (Ordneroptionen).
  2. Click the View (Ansicht) tab.
  3. Clear the Hide extensions for known file types (Erweiterungen bei bekannten Dateitypen ausblenden) check box.
  4. Press the OK button.

To change file associations

  • Right-click a file with the extension whose association you want to change, and then click Open With -> Choose Program (Öffnen mit -> Programm auswählen).


  • In the Open With (Öffnen mit) dialog box, click the program where you want the file to open (1), or click Browse (Durchsuchen) to locate the program that you want to use. In this example we want to change the file extension .jpg from Nero PhotoSnap Viewer to Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
  • Select the Always use the selected program to open this kind of file (Dateityp immer mit dem ausgewählten Programm öffnen) check box (2).
  • Press the OK button (3).


  • The file will be displayed with the choosen program.