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Open With “Choose another app” Crashes Explorer

This post talks about a variation of the Open With issue discussed in the post Open with “Choose another app” Error Program Not Associated. In this case, when the user right-clicks on a file, clicks Open with, and selects the option Choose another app in the Open with dialog or menu, nothing happens.

In addition, the View reliability history page in Control Panel may show that the file openwith.exe (Pick an app) had crashed. Openwith.exe is the file that shows the Open with dialog in Windows 10/11.

Source				Pick an app
Summary				Stopped working
Description
Faulting Application Path:	C:\Windows\System32\OpenWith.exe

Problem signature
Problem Event Name:		APPCRASH
Application Name:		OpenWith.exe
Application Version:		10.0.10586.103
Application Timestamp:		56a84f02
Fault Module Name:		DUI70.dll
Fault Module Version:		10.0.10586.0
Fault Module Timestamp:		5632d29e
Exception Code:			c0000005
Exception Offset:		000000000003a706
OS Version:			10.0.10586.2.0.0.256.48
Locale ID:			1033
Additional Information 1:	b2f0
Additional Information 2:	b2f0c0a8de02d510420abe2d90a52171
Additional Information 3:	d978
Additional Information 4:	d978305aae990df3b2296bc76c66d2c1

On some systems, selecting the “Open with” menu may crash the shell (explorer.exe) process and the following event written to the Application Event Log:

The program explorer.exe version 10.0.14393.479 stopped interacting with Windows and was closed. To see if more information about the problem is available, check the problem history in the Security and Maintenance control panel.

Process ID: 2be8
Start Time: 01d28499b27b6de5
Termination Time: 0
Application Path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe
Report Id: a94d81af-f08d-11e6-ac9e-40167ee6f291
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

Solution

The “Open with” dialog enumerates the application registration from the following registry keys:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\RegisteredApplications

The latter key is specifically for registering programs with Default Apps or Default Programs.

Since the issue was not seen when using Default Apps, I temporarily renamed the 1st one, which is the Applications key, and the Open with dialog worked correctly. So it appears that Windows tried to get details (maybe the icon inside the executable, Product name, Company name, etc.) about an executable registered under the Applications key and probably failed when doing so.

To identify which one of the registered applications is responsible for the crash without using the Registry Editor, you may use OpenWithView from Nirsoft.

The last four entries in the list had the Product Name and Company Name empty. Out of the four, only one executable was present in the system, but had no Product Name and Company Name information in the file’s properties. Disabling that particular entry (quickedit.exe) fixed the problem.

If that approach doesn’t work out in your case, use the same method used for troubleshooting shell extensions using Nirsoft’s ShellExView, but this time using OpenWithView.

First, note down the entries that are showing up as disabled, so that you can reset them back to disabled after you finish the troubleshooting.

Disable the first half of the entries which are not already disabled (sort by column “Disabled”) and see if Open with → Choose another app launches correctly. If that doesn’t help, enable the items you’ve disabled, and then disable the remaining half. If that works, further narrow down the item in the 2nd half to know which application causes the problem.

Once you narrow down the item, open Regedit.exe and go to this key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications

Right-click the subkey name (same as the executable which you disabled. For example, quickedit.exe), and choose Delete.

Exit the Registry Editor.

That should take care of the problem.

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