WAssociate repair file type associations

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 24, 2007
Updated • Feb 20, 2013
Software, Windows

I have written about a way to manually repair file type associations in Windows by using two commands and the Windows command line. While this works in most cases and is certainly faster than using a software for the matter, it does have its limitations as well and is not the most comfortable operation.

WAssociate is a software that is able to change file type associations of all file types in Windows. The software requires a little bit of knowledge of how file types are assigned in Windows but is well worth that time. It displays all known file types and their associations by pulling the data from the Windows registry.

Once you have selected a specific file type you can make all sorts of modifications for it, from selecting the program that you want to associate with the file extension to adding parameters to the start up.

Read More:

How to fix broken file associations
WAssociate (thanks Roman for letting me know about this software)

Update: WAssociate is still available, but it is not compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Windows XP users can still use the program to fix their file associations, wile users who are operating a newer version of Windows need to run a alternative instead.

Here are two programs that work under Vista and newer versions of Windows:

Types: A lightweight portable open source application that lets you easily change file associations. Just browse the selection of classes and pick the one you are interested in. You can then modify icons and actions directly in the program window.

File Association Fixer: This one fixes file types that are no longer associated with the correct application. It does not offer to do that for all file extensions though, only for core system files.


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  1. Alec said on January 27, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for the quick response Martin – it looks like that one while useful, doesn’t provide the depth needed it the particular problem I and those on other systems are experiencing.

    If you’re interested – problem is that though apparently correctly set up Windows Explorer displayed the generic icon rather than that from the EXE. see http://screencast.com/t/9OND0wsUB04

    after clicking the [Icon] button and navigating to the owning program WAssociate shows the reg-key it will update (hmmm – I should have checked that key value before I updated … oh well) see http://screencast.com/t/CTJrZCP2T3A9

    after doing that Windows Explorer displays icons correctly.
    … just realized … the space in “File Warden” may be the problem (no space shown in the error message in WAssociate).

    No need to reply … thanks for your great work Martin and (in this case) getting me to reexamine the problem :-D

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      So you fixed it? Congrats then ;)

      1. Alec said on January 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        GRIN! – I’d fixed it for myself (on Win XP). I was trying to find tool for my fellow beta testers (and the developer) to use on Win-7.

        btw: after further examination I’m pretty sure the installer is using ,1 for the index while the first index for an icon in a program is *actually* either “empty” or “,0”. I’ll see if I’m correct in the morning when the developer reads my email :-)

  2. Alec said on January 27, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Martin – a question from the past … I’m still using WinXP but trying to help debug an icon display problem with friends using Win-7 (both 32 + 64 bit).

    Does WAssociate still work on Win-7? If only partially, any known limitations/caveats?
    Do you know of any equivalent program (hopefully freeware) warranted to work on Win-7 (and Vista – not that anyone cares anymore)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Have you tried this one here? https://www.ghacks.net/2010/02/06/fix-file-associations-after-virus-attack/

      You could also take a look at this registry file that appears to restore all default Windows 7 file extensions: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/19449-default-file-type-associations-restore.html

  3. Simon Templar said on September 29, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    hey Ghacks CN, great site. I’ve been using wassociate for more than 6 years now, I don’t think its been updated in a while now. But still, it works.

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