Updated 2017: Remove file association in Windows

The option to remove file association in Windows is conspicuously absent from file associations user interface in Windows 7, so this post will explain you how can you delete a file association in Windows. Read and follow the steps below to remove a default file association.

Remove file association in Windows from registry

Steps to follow:

  • Click on Start button, in search bar type Run and press enter. You will get below screen and type Regedit into it and press enter
Remove file association in Windows

Run Program

In my case I will delete default association for .ZIP extension. So I will delete .7z

Remove file association in Windows

Registry Editor

  • Find the file extension (in your case this may be .txt, .doc, .pdf etc.) in question under this key in the registry.

Deleting the sub-key with the same name as the extension you want to remove default file association will delete the default file association. You will have to kill and restart explorer.exe for this to take effect. In case restarting explorer.exe service doesn’t fixes you may restart your windows 7 PC to take effect. You may also need to remove the same sub key from below location as well.


If you want to set deafault file association In Windows 7 just follow the steps.

Here we go:

From the Windows Start button select Default Programs from the right hand panel.
Then select “Associate a file type or protocol with a program
Scroll down to the entry for .txt (In your case file extension may be different) and then click on Change Program
You might have to “Browse” for Notepad, but you will find this in C:\windows\system32\ search for notepad.exe select it and open it, here you are done.

To check whether you done it correctly or not just open a .txt file and see if it is opening in Notepad.

This was all about “Remove file association in Windows” let me know if you have any doubt or question.

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