When you click the Windows Explorer or File Explorer shortcut Pinned to the Taskbar, or when running explorer.exe directly, the following error message may be displayed:
This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action. Please install an app or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Apps Settings page.
In earlier Operating Systems (e.g., Windows 8 and below), the following error is displayed:
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.
And using the Win + E key sequence causes “Unspecified error”
However, Explorer may launch correctly when including additional switches such as
/n with explorer.exe, or double-click the (My) Computer or This PC icon. Also, all other shortcuts for other applications Pinned to the Taskbar may work fine, thus implying that this is not a Shortcut (.lnk) file association problem.
This problem occurs due to missing data in the
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folders registry key. The File Explorer pinned shortcut located at the following path is a special shortcut that references a value under the “Folder” registry key:
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
Information in this article applies to Windows Vista through Windows 10.
Fix for File Explorer shortcut association error
To fix the File Explorer shortcut association error, follow these steps:
- Start the Registry Editor (
- Go to the following branch:
- Create a new String value (REG_SZ) named
- Set its value data to
- Repeat steps #3 & 4 under the following registry key as well:
- Exit the Registry Editor.
The “Opennewwindow” branch is missing?
Some users have indicated that the entire key
opennewwindow has been deleted from their computer. If the
opennewwindow key is entirely missing, then download the “Folder” association registry fix for your Operating System from the links provided below:
Unzip the file and run the enclosed .reg file. You should now be able to start File Explorer from the Taskbar shortcut or using Win + E keyboard combo!
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.