Default Programs list is completely empty

After seeing reports of the Nokia Video Manager wiping out the Set Your Default Programs list in Windows Vista, I tried to replicate the problem to check if Nokia Video Manager really caused it. I installed the latest version of the Nokia PC Suite and Nokia Video Manager on my Windows Vista PC. Then I uninstalled Nokia Video Manager, which in fact wiped out the Default Programs programs list completely. This certainly is caused by a glitch in Nokia’s uninstaller.

I used the current stable builds (version numbers are below) of the following Nokia software:

  • Nokia Video Manager v1.5.20
  • Nokia PC Suite v6.86.9.3

Nokia Video Manager adds a registry value to the RegisteredApplications key when installed. The uninstall process deletes the entire RegisteredApplications branch, rather than deleting the Nokia Video Manager specific registry value. The RegisteredApplications is located here:


The above location is where the Default Programs gets the list of registered applications from.

You may be able to restore the original settings using a System Restore rollback. If that’s not a feasible solution for you, you may use the registry fix below to restore the default entries to the Default Programs dialog.


To restore the system default entries to the Default Programs dialog in Windows Vista:

1. Copy the following lines to Notepad.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Windows Address Book"="Software\\Clients\\Contacts\\Address Book\\Capabilities"
"Internet Explorer"="SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Capabilities"
"Windows Mail (News)"="Software\\Clients\\News\\Windows Mail\\Capabilities"
"Windows Media Player"="Software\\Clients\\Media\\Windows Media Player\\Capabilities"
"Windows Media Center"="Software\\Clients\\Media\\Windows Media Center\\Capabilities"
"Windows Calendar"="Software\\Clients\\Calendar\\Windows Calendar\\Capabilities"
"Windows Mail"="Software\\Clients\\Mail\\Windows Mail\\Capabilities"
"Windows Photo Gallery Viewer"="Software\\Microsoft\\Windows Photo Gallery\\Capabilities"
"Windows Search"="Software\\Microsoft\\Windows Search\\Capabilities"

2. Save the file as registeredapplications.reg.

3. Right-click on the .reg file and choose Merge.

4. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.

This should restore the following entries to the applet:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows Address Book
  • Windows Mail
  • Windows Mail (News)
  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows Calendar
  • Windows Photo Gallery Viewer
  • Windows Search

If you have Mozilla Firefox installed, you can restore the Firefox entry using this registry file — e.g., save as firefox.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Firefox"="SOFTWARE\\Mozilla\\Mozilla Firefox\\Capabilities"

Editor’s note: After installing Nokia PC Suite and Nokia Video Manager, I opened the System Restore dialog where I saw 7 System Restore points created by the Nokia installer. It sounds absolutely unnecessary! This is another glitch in their install/uninstall routine.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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