How to unassociate File Types in Windows 7!

It drove me nearly crazy yesterday, when I falsely associated a few files with the wrong application and could not unassociate them. No mater how much I turned my registry upside down, how much I deleted, something was missing. I just couldn’t find it. “F’k it!” I thought, and turned to google.

Lo and behold, I stumbled upon Unassoc. Simple, small, no installation! Oorah!
Simply search for the desired file type and click “remove file association (user)”, after that Windows 7 will use the global file association. If you still have the wrong application as your standard application then do “delete file type”.

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45 thoughts on “How to unassociate File Types in Windows 7!

  1. Nope. Tried the unassociation program. The first time the “remove” button was disabled. I then associated another program with the file using Windows Explorer. The next time I tried the unassociation program the button was enabled, but the default program still did not change.

  2. Please help… i’m trying to remove file association on .svg files but it didn’t work for me! I tryed to delet the file type too up i didn’t work either… each time it make .svg associated with IE (what the hell)!
    Any ideas ? my point is that i have renesis thumbnail plugin to see svg thumbnails in the explorer but i can’t becouse the windows but the associated program icon.

  3. Whenever my husband opens up an attachment in his yahoo mail account, it opens up in windows media player. This does not happen on my side of the computer. We have windows 7. Please help.

  4. I figured it out for windows 7. the steps are as follows:
    1. Open an elevated command prompt.
    2. type assoc .ext= none .ext needs to be replaced with the file you want to unassociate.
    3. press enter, this should do it, hope it works

  5. what file type did you guys remove? im afraid that ill choose the wrong kind of file type. thanks

  6. what kind of file type did you guys click? im wondering cuz im afraid to click the wrong file type. i need answers asap. thanks!

  7. one of my tax files (file extension tax2010, for example) somehow got associated with Acrobat Reader (.PDF). Windows 7 did not let me just change the association back no matter what I tried. It would either change all .PDF files association to something but will not let me just do this ONE particular file only. VERY FRUSTRATING. Then, all I did was take my file on a jump drive to a MAC and used it’s file proprty window and just deleted the .PDF extension that Windows 7 had crazily appended on to it and retyped the file extension of .tax2010 on to it (still on MAC) and that did it!! Took the jump drive back to Windows 7 and all was OK and it did not mess up any other files. No wonder more and more people are disliking windows and going to MACs.
    MAC saved me from frustration caused by Windows 7.

  8. Thanks to you for this awesome utility. To negative comments posted here: This process does exactly what it says on the tin. Some Adobe Reader updates seem to associate Reader with the default Windows 7 .lnk which will turn all your desktop (and other) shortcuts to Reader links which will then not open, this simple utility is the BEST way to fix this. Thanks again to The Don.

  9. Did not work for me.
    I still get prompted to use a RECOMMENDED PROGRAM: Adobe acrobat and Notepad!
    I was hoping to get ot “reset” so it would ask if I wanted to search the Internet for a program to open.

  10. The best way to do it is this without downloading anything:

    Open up notepad. Write the word “test” (or “blah” or whatever word you want). Click file -> Save As… For the File name, type test.exe. In the “Save as type” drop down menu, chose “All files” and save it on the desktop.

    Next, right click the file you want to unassociate and click Open With -> Choose default program… Browse to “test.exe” on the desktop and click “always use the selected program” and click ok.

    Now, simply delete “test.exe”. The file will have no longer have any associated program.

    1. Thank-you so much! It worked! I had mistakingly tried to open an embroidery file and ended up associating with paint. Then the sewing machine wouldn’t recognize it. Now the sewing machine sees it and I can use those files. Thanx again!

  11. HA! I found the best way right in Windows. Just associate it with itself.

    I have a file extension of .epf and I accidentally (Win 7 did actually) associated it with notepad. I right clicked on the file > properties > Change > Browse > located the directory of the .epf file > put *.* next to ‘File name:’ > press enter > selected the .epf file > Open > Ok > Ok


    This DOES NOT UNASSOCIATE, but it’s better than any third party program!

  12. could you tell us how to do it manually instead of using this software ? I guess it basically delete some registry key in the system.

    1. What’s the index got to do with this topic?

      This topic is about when for example I associate .zip with WinRAR and could not remove it anymore. Even though WinRAR has been de-installed.

      This tools does just that: It removes the association between .zip and WinRAR. I’ve no idea what your index and file-types have got to do with it.

    2. that didn’t work for me since the checkboxes were disabled. but i used emily’s method and i’m good now.

  13. I figured out an alternative.
    a) go into the relevant program files folder rename the bad program
    b) try and open the file type you want
    c) windows 7 will throw an error and give you alternatives
    d) if you rename the bad program again it will still not be associated

  14. omg! this saved my PC life from a reboot, I’ve tried everything in google with no results, thank you!

    1. what did you do to download it with out the spam? wanted to scan my computer for driver B.S….I just want the damn thing and not jump through hoops.

  15. Another way to change an incorrect file association.

    Press the windows start button, look for the “Default Programs” link (under Control Panel). In the next window, click the “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” link. Search for the extension/description you are looking for in the list, click it and press the “Change program” button in the upper right corner.

    In the next window chose a “Recommended Program” or expand the window with the small arrow to see “Other Programs”. If the desired program is not listed, click the “Browse” button and search for it on your HDD and associate it with with the desired extension.

      1. That was not the point of my posting. If you had read the text from the Don, you should know that he had falsely associated a few files. In my posting i showed a way to change a file association with a windows onboard solution. That way his problem would be resolved, without an external too and without to unassociate a file. So no need to “tell how to UNassociate a file” from me, because that is described above from the Don. KKK?

        1. Yea, but the title of the howto wasn’t “how to correctly associate a file extension” but, rather, “how to UNassociate an extension” which is what most people that visit this page search for.

        2. See, what if you don’t want a newly associated extension associated to any program? “when I falsely associated a few files with the wrong application” he never said he wanted to associate the extension with a different program, he just wanted the extension unassociated.

        3. The question was how to unassociate. I have a situation where I need to unassociate. The windows solution you describe does not work. Nor when I try to associate from a 2007 version to a 2010 version it does not work.

    1. Reassociating an executable (in my case, .bat) to CMD.exe worked for me! I was unable to unassociate using any other method posted above and I did not want to download anything.

    1. I see this only works for some file extensions. The one I require to unnassociate ‘.sub’ with Notepad is greyed out! Running as Admin makes no difference – HELP PLEASE!

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