Summary: Default right-click action changes to Cmd for folders in Windows 10. Double-clicking folders shows the association error message.
I’ve seen a few cases where the default action for folders somehow changed from Open to Cmd, showing up in bold when you right-click a file system folder. And clicking it shows the following file association error message:
This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel.
Although the cause isn’t clearly known, all of the systems which had the problem were running Windows 10. Directory association settings had some keys and values missing, and one of these methods resolves the problem.
Right-click Start, click Command Prompt (Admin)
Type the following command:
reg add HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell /ve /d "none" /f
If the same problem is seen when double-clicking drives, run this command:
reg add HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell /ve /d "none" /f
That fixes the default double-click action (sets to "open") and there by resolves the problem.
Running the following Reg.exe command from a Command Prompt window showed two things:
reg query hkcr\Directory\shell /s
1. The “Directory\shell” key didn’t have the (default) entry. It should be set to "none" (without quotes).
2. The "cmd\command" key was missing the value data for (default). It should be set to
cmd.exe /s /k pushd "%V"
Creating these entries fixed the problem.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.