How to fix ‘This file does not have a program associated with it’ error?

By Eunice Samson | August 15, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

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It can be frustrating when you can’t open a file that holds the information that you urgently need. Some users complained that they had encountered this problem on Windows 10. When they tried to run some applications, they would get an error message which said, “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action.” Here are some issues related to the error:

  • The issue can affect different applications, including Excel, Explorer, and Adobe Reader, among others. When this happens to you, be sure to run SFC and DISM scans.
  • In some cases, the error message can appear while you’re trying to open a USB drive. Your AutoPlay settings likely caused this. You can try disabling the feature to fix this.
  • The error message can also prevent you from launching OneDrive. If you encounter this issue, you must learn how to set up file associations in Windows 10 correctly.
  • It is worth noting that the problem can affect not only Windows 10, but also older versions like Windows 8.1 and 7. Our solutions work best for Windows 10, but they can also be used for previous versions of the operating system.

If you want to learn how to fix This file does not have a program associated with it issue on Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place. Go through our solutions to discover the one that will get rid of the error completely.

Method 1: Creating a New Windows User Account

Some users claimed that the there is an easy way to get rid of this error. They reported that creating a new Windows user account had fixed the problem. To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  2. Type “settings” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Select Accounts.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then click Family & Other People.
  5. Click Add Someone Else to this PC.
  6. Select ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.’
  7. Choose ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account.’
  8. Submit the necessary details to create a new account, then click Next.

Method 2: Adding your User Account to the Administrators Group

You can also try adding your user account to the Administrators group. Some users reported that this had helped them resolve the problem. You can add your user account to the Administrators group by following these steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+R. This should open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “lusrmgr.msc” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Go to the left-pane menu, then select the Groups folder.
  4. Go to the right pane, then double-click the Administrators group.
  5. Once the Properties window shows up, click the Add button.
  6. Click the box below the ‘Enter the object names’ section. Submit your username, then click Check Names. Click OK once everything is in order. You can also manually search for your username by clicking the Advanced button, then selecting Find Now.
  7. After following those steps, your account will be added to the Administrators group. Save the changes by clicking Apply and OK.

It is also advisable to restart your computer to ensure that the changes will take effect.

Method 3: Modifying your Registry

Before you proceed, please be warned that the registry is a sensitive database. That said, making the smallest error can cause system instability. So, you should only try the following steps if you are confident that you will be able to complete the instructions successfully. We also recommend creating a backup of your registry. This way, you will be able to undo the changes in case anything goes wrong. Here are the steps in editing your registry:

  1. Press Windows Key+R on your keyboard to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “regedit” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Navigate to this path: \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile
  4. Go to the right pane, then check if the IsShortcut value is available. If it is missing, click an empty space on the right pane, then select New and String Value. Make sure to name the new string value as IsShortcut.
  5. Once you’re done, close the registry editor.

Some users recommended performing the following:

    If you cannot resolve the
    problem yourself, you can
    ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  1. Once the registry is up, navigate to this path: \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Manage\command
  2. Go to the right pane, then double-click (Default).
  3. Set the value data to: %SystemRoot%\system32\CompMgmtLauncher.exe
  4. Save the changes by clicking OK.

Method 4: Removing Certain Keys from the Registry

You can follow the steps in this solution if you are having trouble opening any folder on your computer. You must delete certain registry entries to fix the issue. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Go to the left pane and navigate to this path: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
  3. Expand the contents of the Shell key, then delete the Find and CMD keys.
  4. Once you’re done, exit the registry.

Method 5: Performing SFC and DISM Scans

In some cases, the file association error is caused by corrupted system files. There are various reasons why this happens, and it is advisable for you to perform SFC and DISM scans to get rid of it. Simply follow these instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+X.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin).
  3. Once Command Prompt is up, type “sfc /scannow” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  4. The SFC scan should now begin. The process may take around 15 minutes. So, just wait until it is complete and do not interrupt it.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the error is gone. If it is still there, we recommend performing a DISM scan. Just follow these instructions:

  1. Run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. The DISM scan should now commence. Keep in mind that the process can take longer to complete.

Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem persists.

Method 6: Disabling AutoPlay

As we’ve mentioned, the file association error may have something to do with your AutoPlay settings. So, you can try disabling the feature completely to fix the problem. To do that, simply follow these steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Settings” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Click Devices.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then click AutoPlay.
  5. Go to the right pane, then disable the ‘Use AutoPlay for all media devices’ option.
  6. Make sure that the Removable Drive and Memory Card are set to ‘Take no Action’.

Method 7: Resetting File Association

Windows is automatically set to open files, using its default programs. However, most users who prefer third-party applications tend to change these settings. Sometimes, doing this can lead to a string of errors, including the one we’re discussing in this article. So, you might ask, “How can I reset a file association?” Well, the process is simple. Just follow at the instructions below:

  1. Go to your taskbar and click the Search icon.
  2. Type “settings” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Once the Settings window is open, click Apps.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then select Default Apps.
  5. Go to the right pane, then scroll down until you see the ‘Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults’ section.
  6. Click the Reset button.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you should be able to resolve the file association problem completely.

If you notice that it still takes longer for applications or folders to open, it is possible that disk fragmentation caused the slowdown. In this case, we recommend using Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro. The tool allows you to optimize file placement on your hard drive, ensuring the most efficient operation and faster access.

Can you recommend other methods for resolving this issue?

Share your ideas in the comments below!

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