File association is the association of a type of file with a program that can open it. A file can be associated with multiple applications. You can use the file’s Open with application to make an associated selection. For example, when you open a .jpg file, it most likely opened in the Photos app. Again, a .txt file will open in Notepad. This is file association, a specific file type that is configured to be opened with a program. But what if you want to open the file with another application in Windows 11 from now on, you must remove the default file association in Windows 11 at first.
Sometimes you install new programs that are better suited for specific file types. Say you have a photo editor installed and want to use it to open all .jpg or .png files for editing. Under current system settings, these formats will open with default file associations. If you don’t want them, you need to know how to change, delete or reset file associations in Windows 11. This article will show you how to remove file associations in Windows 11.
Do changes to file associations apply to all user accounts?
Changes to file associations do not apply to all user accounts. A file association is limited to a specific user account because changes to it will not apply to all accounts in the entire system.
For example, you can configure file associations so that Google Chrome opens .html file types on the current account, while another user on the same system might use Microsoft Edge as the default app for the same file type. If you want to make all account changes in the entire system, you must make these changes for individual user accounts.
How to remove file associations in Windows 11?
Let’s check the following effective ways to remove file associations in Windows 11.
1. Remove file associations via setting
Press Windows+I to launch Settings, then select Applications from the list of tabs in the left navigation pane.
Next, click Default Apps on the right.
Scroll down to the bottom, and under Related settings select Choose defaults by file type.
Now, choose a file type to delete the current file and create a new file association in Windows 11.
From now on, select the desired application you want to use to open this particular file type and click OK.
Changes should be reflected immediately.
Deleting and creating new file associations in Windows 11 through settings is one of the easiest ways. Apart from this, of course there are other ways to help you delete and create new file associations in Windows 11.
2. Remove file associations via setting via Control Panel
Open the Search menu by pressing Windows+S keys, type Control Panel in the text field, and click on the relevant search result.
Choose a program from the list of options here.
Next, click Default Programs.
Now, click on the option to associate a file type or protocol with a program.
You will now be redirected to the Settings window and can remove file associations in Windows 11 by following the steps outlined in the previous method.
3. Remove file associations via registry
Press Windows+R to start the Run command, enter regedit in the text field, and click OK or Enter to start Registry Editor.
Click Yes button on the User Account Control window.
Paste the following path into the address bar and press Enter key.
All file types will be listed in the pane. Select the file whose file association you want to delete, right-click it, and select Delete from the context menu.
Click Yes button to delete the key.
Now, start the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Esc keys, find the Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) Shift process, right-click it and choose Restart.
Once complete, the file associations will revert to the default configuration. And if you want to change the file association for particular format, follow the steps listed below.
How to reset file associations in Windows 11?
Launch Settings by pressing Windows+I keys, then select the Applications tab on the left pane.
Click the Default Apps option on the right.
Next, click the Reset button next to the Reset All Default Apps option.
Click OK to confirm.
After you reset file associations in Windows 11, the file associations will go back to Microsoft Recommended Apps. If you want to change file associations for a specific format, it is recommended that you change them individually rather than resetting them all.
This article introduces the steps to remove file associations in Windows 11 and how to reset the file associations in Windows 11 if you want to revert them after remove the file associations.