Fix for “An App Default was Reset” Windows 10 Resets File Associations

This post explains why Windows 10 resets your file associations for file types supported by modern apps like 3d Builder, Zune music, Zune video (Movies & TV), Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Edge Chromium.

app default was reset


The app defaults are reset by Windows 10 if it finds that an incompatible third-party program making changes to file associations directly, rather than directing users to the Default Apps window.

Since the UserChoiceProgID hash algorithm is in place in Windows 10, incorrect modification of file associations in the registry would cause Windows 10 to reset the association settings to defaults.

In Windows 10, applications must not create or overwrite the ProgID value in the following registry key directly:


{.extension} in the above registry path refers to the file extension. It may be .htm, .html, .pdf etc.

Instead, the application should redirect the user to the Default apps window. This is a major change in Windows 10.

If a (legacy) application doesn’t use Windows API and writes to the registry to set the file associations, Windows 10 detects that the registry (“UserChoice” key) is corrupted and will reset the fail-safe Windows default program for this file extension. The user will see the An App default was reset notification.

After you get the notification, if you open the Event Viewer and go to Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Core/AppDefaults event log, you’ll see which file type association was recently reset.

  • Open the Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc)
  • Expand Applications and Services Logs → Microsoft → Windows → Shell-Core → AppDefaults
  • Look for the most recent event with ID 62441.
    app default was reset - event log

    Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Core/AppDefaults
    Source: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Core
    Event ID: 62441
    Task Category: (62441)
    Level: Information
    User: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q\ramesh
    Computer: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q
    User choice has been reset to prog id AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9 for .htm

The .htm file type association was reset in the above example, and Microsoft Edge is now the default handler for the file type. AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9 is the Microsoft Edge ProgID for .htm/.html files, as seen in the registry.

On Windows 10 versions that have Microsoft Edge (Chromium) built-in, then “MSEdgePDF” ProgID will be the default handler for PDF files.


Make sure the third-party programs you’re using comply with the rules of Windows 10.

If you’re unsure which program is trying to modify the above registry key, use Process Monitor and inspect “UserChoice” entries in the trace. It’s possible that you’re using an outdated version of Adobe Reader DC?

The ultimate fix would be to upgrade the 3rd party program (viewer, browser, or anything) and make sure that it is compatible with Windows 10.

If your programs are already updated (and Windows 10-compatible), and yet this error occurs, please send your query here. You need to find out which program is corrupting the UserChoice data in the registry.

Quoting Microsoft’s Raymond Chen

Program X wants to set itself as the user’s preferred handler, but they want to do so without requiring the user to confirm the change. How considerate of them. So they manipulate the registry keys directly. (I bet somebody got a really nice bonus for that feature.) But they are manipulating them the pre-Windows 10 way. This means that Windows 10 detects the settings as corrupted and throws them away, causing the handler to fall back to the system default.

The customer has a few choices here.

The obvious choice is to stop using Program X. Easier said than done. Program X is probably essential to the customer’s workflow. That’s why they want to set it as the default!

Another option is to work with the vendors who produce Program X and get them to stop mucking around in internal registry keys. (Good luck with that.)

Reference: Why do my PDF file associations get reset every time I restart? | The Old New Thing

In early builds of Windows 10, you can use the registry fix (workaround) below to prevent Windows 10 from resetting file associations.


Update [2019]: The following registry fix doesn’t work in Windows 10 v1809. Although the registry values are in place, Windows 10 relentlessly resets the file association if the UserChoice key is written (and corrupted) by a third-party program.

We saw how to stop Microsoft Edge and Photos from resetting your file association settings. Based on the same, I thought of implementing the registry edit for all the Metro apps (or Universal Windows Apps) such as 3d Builder, Zune music, Zune video (Movies & TV).

PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS REGISTRY FILE ON WINDOWS 11, as it will cause file association issues with Default Apps (on Windows 11).

For v1607 and earlier

On early builds of Windows 10, running the registry edit below stops Microsoft Edge, Photos, 3d Builder, Zune music, and Zune Video (Movies & TV) from taking over your file associations for various file types, without impeding the Apps functionality in any way. To reverse the changes, run the undo REG file. The registry fix was tested up to Windows 10 v1607.

[Download REG file –] Contents of this REG file are below.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Description: Prevents Windows 10 from resetting the file associations
;... by adding NoOpenWith & NoStaticDefaultVerb values for all the modern apps.
;Created on Feb 13 2016 by Ramesh Srinivasan
;Updated on May 01 2019
;The Winhelponline Blog
;Tested in Windows 10 v1511 & 1607

;File Types: .stl, .3mf, .obj, .wrl, .ply, .fbx, .3ds, .dae, .dxf, .bmp
;... .jpg, .png, .tga

;Microsoft Edge
;File Types: .htm, .html

;File Types: .pdf

;File Types: .svg

;File Types: .xml

;Microsoft Photos
;File Types: .3g2,.3gp, .3gp2, .3gpp, .asf, .avi, .m2t, .m2ts, .m4v, .mkv
;... .mov, .mp4, mp4v, .mts, .tif, .tiff, .wmv

;File Types: Most Image File Types

;File Types: .raw, .rwl, .rw2 and others

; Zune Music
;File Types: .aac, .adt, .adts ,.amr, .flac, .m3u, .m4a, .m4r, .mp3, .mpa
;.. .wav, .wma, .wpl, .zpl

; Zune Video
;File Types: .3g2,.3gp, .3gpp, .avi, .divx, .m2t, .m2ts, .m4v, .mkv, .mod
;... .mov, .mp4, mp4v, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv2, .mts, .tod, .ts
;... .tts, .wm, .wmv, .xvid

After running the REG fix, click Start → Settings → Default apps and set file associations or default apps. None of the built-in Universal Apps should reset the associations from now on. This method has been tested (and works fine) in Windows 10 v1511 and 1607.

Note that this registry edit also hides the modern apps in Open with dialog, but they still appear in Settings → Default apps.


June 01, 2016: If using a local account, try switching to Microsoft account, as this helped some users. If you don’t want to switch to Microsoft account, try Fix #2 in the article Unable to Set Default File Association Using Default Apps in Windows 10. (Ignore the page title)

Feb 25, 2016: In Windows 10, to configure your default apps, click the Start button, Settings, System, and then Default apps. This is the only supported method to manually change your default app settings. We’ve seen behavior by some apps that have set themselves as default in unsupported ways by deleting or corrupting registry settings. Details on supported methods for apps to register file associations can be found on MSDN here. Update KB3135173 for Windows addresses the problem and resets application defaults to the initial Windows settings when registry settings are deleted or corrupted. We have worked with some of these app providers, so the apps no longer exhibit this behavior in their latest versions. If a user proactively changes their default app settings using the supported method, the registry won’t be corrupted, and those user settings are retained. Source – Betsy [MSFT]

On Windows 11, the NoOpenWith registry value behaves differently and causes issues. For more information, check out the article Can’t Associate JPG/PNG Files via Default Apps in Windows 11

(Last Updated on March 14, 2022.)

One small request: If you liked this post, please share this?

One "tiny" share from you would seriously help a lot with the growth of this blog. Some great suggestions:
  • Pin it!
  • Share it to your favorite blog + Facebook, Reddit
  • Tweet it!
So thank you so much for your support. It won't take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right below. :)

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.

79 thoughts on “Fix for “An App Default was Reset” Windows 10 Resets File Associations”

  1. I tried this fix. Unfortunately, it removed all the new apps from the list associated with each app. Music Player no longer has Groove available, Photo Viewer no longer has Photos, Video Player no longer has Movies & TV, and Web Browser no longer has Edge. This would be fine except that (1) I want to use Movies and TV for Video Player, and (2) I’d like to have the option of using the new apps in the future if MS ever improves them.

    The undo scripts reverses these changes just fine, but I have decided to keep the changes and see if the irritating “App Default was Reset” messages go away. If so, I can live with using Windows Media Player for Video Player.

    I am using Windows 10 64-bit, version 1511, build 10586.104.

    • @Ellison: As stated in the post, the fix removes modern apps from “Open with” listing, but they would be still listed in Default Programs from where you can choose your associations. For example, with Edge removed from Open With, one can still set it as default via Default Programs (Classic UI, not the modern one).

  2. And when the app is updated, the ProgIDs will change. Better “fix” is to uninstall all Metro apps that you don’t use so at least until the next build “upgrade”, they won’t be restored.

    • Even I thought so. But ProgIDs may not necessarily change. I’ll confirm this with my another W10 install.

    • @Anon: Good news. ProgIDs are same in 10586.0. I’m guessing they won’t change, and obviously there is no reason to.

    • Well, not quite. I forcefully removed MSPaint, yet MSWin10 **STILL** periodically tries to reset the various image file associations to mspaint.exe. But since MSPaint has been removed, it just bitches that it can’t find the application. Microsoft needs to learn that when we tell it how we want our system to run, they had best obey those settings. I don’t care one bit what THEY want, it isn’t THEIR machine to change.

      Now, I’ve just tried a different fix that may or may not stay; I went through the registry and deleted EVERY instance of mspaint.exe that it would allow me to. The problem is those un-deletable entries will probably bring their crap right back.

      You know, I don’t have these sorts of problems in Linux; that does what you tell it, and doesn’t stomp all over your preferences. I’m getting that much closer to convincing my brother to start using his Linux partition (these are the sorts of things he despises about Microsoft products).

    • @TJ, Thanks. Never thought this post would go places. At this point, we don’t have a clear answer about what factors trigger the reset of file assoc settings. One reason is if any old programs sets file asso. incorrectly, OS reverts it back to Windows 10 defaults. I’m seeing this issue even before the Feb cumulative update, but IMO it got magnified after that. Hope MS would explain what actually triggers the reset.

  3. Thanks Ramesh: I spent close to 7 hours with Microsoft techs over 2 days trying to fix the problem but nothing worked. It became very annoying. They suggesting reinstalling Windows 10, which we did and which worked great until the new updates were installed. I was resigned to the annoying Notifications until I found your post. Well Done!

  4. There are 2 files within the Zip. Am I to run them both? if so in what order it? Secondly if I don’t need to run both which one should I run? My problem is what is listed above. I am unable to open control panel with out it crashing. Also get message about apps being reset.

    • @Calvin: w10_stop_reset_fileasso.reg is the file you want to run. The 2nd file is the Undo file which reverses the setting.

  5. Thanks a lot! It worked fine for me!

    Microsoft should be ashamed for not finding a solution for this buggy update. #GoddamnYouKB3135173

    Yay WinHelpOnline!

    best wishes,
    Now a fan from Brazil

  6. Hi again. I am using using Build 10586.104 and everything has been working fine!
    Except I have pdf set to Adobe Reader as the default. But from time to time Windows 10 unsets Adobe Reader as the default so there is no default for pdf. So I must reset it from time to time. Have you experienced this condition?

    • @Dale: That could happen if the PDF viewer is not setting the associations correctly, and as we instructed Windows (by running the REG file), Windows is not taking over the PDF associations. Which viewer do you use? Right-click a PDF and choose Open with, select the viewer and set it to “always open…” the file type.

  7. BEST THING IN MONTHS. So far it’s working perfectly. You have no idea how close I was to throwing my computer out the window and buying a Mac (and I’m one of those people who really dislike Apple products). I was getting angrier every day and you’ve made my life so much better. All I hope is that it’ll keep working. I don’t know how to thank you.

  8. “Re Calvin Singleton
    February 17, 2016 at 7:43 am
    There are 2 files within the Zip. Am I to run them both? ”

    The one with “NoOpenWith=” creates a registry item. The one with “NoOpenWith=-” deletes these items. You should run the first one. And if you change your mind, run the second one.

  9. This seems to work while the computer is on, but after a reboot the metro apps took control again. Is anyone else experiencing that?

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! That was driving me CRAZY and my computer fix-it guy wanted $150 + to fix the registry error! Awesome! Cannot thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

  11. Thank you Fashidnaji!

    The app reset pop-up notices from Windows were getting more frequent and irritating.
    Now there is peace throughout the land once again.

  12. Thank you Ramesh!

    The app reset pop-up notices from Windows were getting more frequent and irritating.
    Now there is peace throughout the land once again.

  13. I really appreciate your effort in providing the code to get rid of that annoying nag message from Windows 10. Unfortunately, I’m a mid-range user, and I have *no* idea how to implement this fix. I’m assuming I open Registry Editor . . . but then what? I’m a couple of steps short of knowing where to paste the code you’ve provided. Could you be more specific for those of us who don’t know how? The words “running the registry edit below” (in your article) aren’t quite enough for me to understand the process. (Should I back-up my Registry first? How?)

    • @Rob McIntire: Unzip the archive, extract the two .reg files to a folder. Double-click w10_stop_reset_fileasso.reg to run it. To reverse the changes if you want, run the undo.reg file by double-clicking it. IMO, registry backup may not be needed in this case.. but taking a backup is never a bad idea… by creating a System Restore point or using programs like ERUNT or similar to backup the entire registry.

  14. Thank you. Seems to have worked.

    I should not have had to waste my time searching for solutions to this issue, then downloading and applying a fix. This nonsense makes me so angry, especially since it’s a constant struggle with every bit of technology I use.

    But thanks.

  15. Thanks so much for this. So nice to see people working to do what Microsoft should be doing to give us the OS we want, with OPTIONS. Now it would be really great if you could work on a way to stop Windows 10 from auto installing third party Drivers. That’s my sole biggest issue with Windows 10. Gripes me to no end!

  16. Thanks for this I pay a lot of good money for my software and graphics applications and I am so sick and tired having to set the file associations every time. If I could I would completely remove Edge, Photo, Groove and all their other programs!

  17. Thanks, it works great for those file extensions.
    Is there a way to do it for Protocols (http and https)? Using NoOpenWith for the ProcIDs is not working for protocols for me.

  18. Thank you, tremendously! There is no reason on God’s Green Earth that Micro$oft should make these decisions for me! It was becoming tenuous, at best, to get work done, simply because I was running afoul of these constant file association alerts!

  19. After installing Windows 10 last year, I also was annoying by such Resetting Problem until now. But Your Good Efforts & Devotions for Many People in the world will decrease many people’s sufferings surely.
    I also can not say “Thanks You So Much!!!” in a world.
    Thanks Again.
    Always God Be With You & Your Sweet Family! Amen!

    March 11, 2016

    From Peter Kim, Seoul Korea

  20. Thank you so much Dear Legend of the Internet … WinHelpOnline Blog !!!

    After 12 hours of searching the internet and I have found you. May you win the lotto big time so you can sit at home and create fixes for us. 🙂

  21. Thank you so *blippin* much!! Been going out of my mind trying to get this damn Windows 10 to do my bidding. After I ran a session of the trial for Malwarebytes, the bipping and blinking for resetting file extensions for images was really driving me up the wall. So thank you!!! This was Windows 10 version 1511, and your fix did the trick 🙂

  22. Strange: Applied registry mod two weeks ago and worked. Received an alert that an update was added today and now the fix is no longer working. After checking registry I find all modifications still in place. I used app to remove the reg fix then re-applied, still cannot set default web app. any ideas?

  23. Excellent thankyou, since upgrading to Windows 10 it was the only problem I couldn’t solve, and was driving me mad! So thank you again

  24. There is another way to set the default app in Windows 10. Right click a .pdf file and choose “Open with” then “Choose another app”. Pick the desired app then check the box labeled “Always use this app to open pdf files”. Variations of this technique have been in Windows going back to at least XP.

  25. This problem continues on My Win 10 Home Basic machine that does NOT have KB3135173 installed. Haven’t tried the registry fix yet…

  26. Thank you so much for going to the trouble to create this “fix”…It was so easy to apply and so far, so good.

    THANK YOU !!!!!


  27. This did not work. My $1000 computer is still under the control of Microsoft Edge.
    What a croc. I’m tempted to throw it in the trash and buy a Mac.

  28. It would be nice if MS was at least open about the criteria for when the files are “re-associated”. Or even if they simply asked if this current file-association was a problem before changing them.

    But frankly, this is what I’ve come to expect of Microsoft. So once my laptop dies, and the on-board locked “secure boot” trail on a separate embedded ssd along with it, I will never use a Microsoft product again. It’s just not worth the constant added stress and hassle. It’s obnoxious, pure and simple, and no one would accept it if they paid for this product directly, or if they were given a choice.

  29. This is an awesome reg fix!
    Thanks so much !
    Without this fix, Edge keeps on hijacking my pdf’s associated program 🙁

    This line saved the day !

    ;File Types: .pdf

    — Win 10 10586.420

  30. This almost worked, excdept I had to go back to ControlPanel>DefaultPrograms and change the asswociation for .PDF again. This time it stuck, at least until the next restart.

    We really should stop whining. Microsoft wants us to use Edge and Bing. There are BegaBucks involved. Stop sniveling and accept this Manna from Redmond just like we were forced to accept Win10.

  31. This article no longer helps with fixing the file association issues if you are using Windows 10 Anniversary Update v1607. Please check and confirm. Registry Fixes do not import into the registry.

  32. This no longer seems to work with the Anniversary Update version. Even with the registry showing NoOpenWith Edge still appears in the right hand openwith context menu for PDF files and others. With WinZip 14.5 which I use when I open a PDF file within a .zip file it instantly changes the default to Edge. See also where this mod is referenced.

  33. Many thanks Ramesh, downloaded and imported. Initial check seems to show it has done the job – Edge not showing in the right click and Winzipped PDFs remain as the default.

  34. April 29,2019. Just tried this and it doesn’t work. Windows randomly clears all apps associated with things like images, text file, audio and refuses to remember anything I chose as default in the control panel.

    Now I can’t open most of my files. I sick of this crap and I’m switching to Linux.

  35. I faced the same issue with one of my clients. Tried Mr.ramesh’s workaround but it didn’t work. I was already aware that if this solution doesn’t work, i may have to replace my client pc just for the windows issue. But i checked that my client has windows 1709 os build version and since there is already new feature update available which will upgrade windows 10 to 1903 build version. I tried that out. Seems microsoft has fixed this app reset to default issue after all. For all who are trying or still running Mr. Ramesh’s workaround can fix it permanently by downloading the latest win10 feature update from Microsoft.

  36. This should be a class action lawsuit against Microsoft for them insisting their product should be the default. Isn’t their patch doing exactly what they said the patch is intended to stop by setting the default applications without user interaction. I think at the very least they should have the message pop up and then let the user select the app they want which would then be registered as a user selection so should stick.

  37. So, if I’m understanding correctly, this article is for Windows 10 v1607 or earlier? What about a fix for users on v1909? I am getting tired of having to re-associate basic things back to Firefox, Notepad++, etc each and everyday.

    Microsoft has really outdone themselves forcing what they feel I (we) should be using….

    I hope a fix for 1809 and higher can be found.

    • Francois, I finally upgraded to Windows 10 from 7, and immediately started seeing my defaults get reset by Microsoft. I too have v1809, and haven’t found a fix like this one. I guess we will have to keep resetting them every day until someone devises another fix. I won’t be able to do it myself.

  38. I don’t understand what the fix is. I’m stuck. Edge is taking over my PDF file associations. My PDF editor is Adobe Acrobat X Pro. I searched event viewer for code 62441 and found several like this: User choice has been reset to prog id AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723 for .pdf. Now what do I do with this information? Thanks.

    • @Ari: Adobe Acrobat X Pro may not be compatible with Windows 10, and it may be setting file associations by itself (which Windows 10 doesn’t like). Please check with Adobe support to know if Adobe Acrobat X Pro can be configured not to alter the file associations automatically.

  39. Even viewre helped me i fond the last 62441 event and removed that extension entire folder from this registry address:


Leave a Comment