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

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).

app default was reset

The registry edit workaround at the end of this article stops Windows 10 (v1607 and earlier) from resetting file associations to default settings.

RELATED: Set Default Browser and File Associations via Command-line in Windows 10

Solution

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 write the ProgID value in the following registry key directly:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\{.extension}\UserChoice

{.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.

app default was reset

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) → 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
    Date: 
    Event ID: 62441
    Task Category: (62441)
    Level: Information
    Keywords: 
    User: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q\ramesh
    Computer: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q
    Description:
    User choice has been reset to prog id AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9 for .htm

    In the above example, .htm file type association was reset 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.

If you’re unsure which program is trying to modify the above registry key, use Process Monitor and inspect “UserChoice” entries in the trace.

So, make sure the third-party programs you’re using comply with the rules of Windows 10. The ultimate fix would be to upgrade the 3rd party program (viewer, browser or anything), and making sure that it is compatible with Windows 10.

RELATED: Set Default Browser and File Associations via Command-line in Windows 10

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.


Workaround

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 it finds that the UserChoice key is written (and corrupted) by a third-party program.


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 files types, without impeding the Apps functionality in any way. To reverse the changes, simply run the undo REG file. The registry fix was tested up to Windows 10 v1607.

[Download REG file – w10_stop_reset_fileasso.zip] 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
;https://www.winhelponline.com/blog
;Tested in Windows 10 v1511 & 1607

;-------------------
;Microsoft.3DBuilder
;-------------------
;File Types: .stl, .3mf, .obj, .wrl, .ply, .fbx, .3ds, .dae, .dxf, .bmp
;... .jpg, .png, .tga
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXvhc4p7vz4b485xfp46hhk3fq3grkdgjg]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;-------------------
;Microsoft Edge
;-------------------
;File Types: .htm, .html
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;File Types: .pdf
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;File Types: .svg
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXde74bfzw9j31bzhcvsrxsyjnhhbq66cs]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;File Types: .xml
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXcc58vyzkbjbs4ky0mxrmxf8278rk9b3t]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;-------------------
;Microsoft Photos
;-------------------
;File Types: .3g2,.3gp, .3gp2, .3gpp, .asf, .avi, .m2t, .m2ts, .m4v, .mkv
;... .mov, .mp4, mp4v, .mts, .tif, .tiff, .wmv
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXk0g4vb8gvt7b93tg50ybcy892pge6jmt]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;File Types: Most Image File Types
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppX43hnxtbyyps62jhe9sqpdzxn1790zetc]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;File Types: .raw, .rwl, .rw2 and others
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppX9rkaq77s0jzh1tyccadx9ghba15r6t3h]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;-------------------
; Zune Music
;-------------------
;File Types: .aac, .adt, .adts ,.amr, .flac, .m3u, .m4a, .m4r, .mp3, .mpa
;.. .wav, .wma, .wpl, .zpl
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXqj98qxeaynz6dv4459ayz6bnqxbyaqcs]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

;-------------------
; 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
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppX6eg8h5sxqq90pv53845wmnbewywdqq5h]
"NoOpenWith"=""
"NoStaticDefaultVerb"=""

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 window.

Updates

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 the Fix #2 in 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 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]

(Last Updated on May 03, 2019.)

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.

72 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.

    • @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,
    Thiago
    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 w10_stop_reset_fileasso.zip, 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 !!!!!

    Kathy

  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
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723]
    “NoOpenWith”=””

    — 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 http://kb.winzip.com/kb/entry/401/ 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. Wow. This worked! Hadn’t been able to select default applications for web browsing in forever, this let me do it!

  35. For those who still have a problem with Edge stealing the show, there is freeware called EdgeBlocker. It won’t help with MS Photos, Zune or others, but it stops Edge.

  36. 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.

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