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Clicking the "Open With" or "Choose Program..." option always opens the file with Notepad?

Published : Dec 25, 2004
Updated   : Apr 03, 2010
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When you right-click a file and choose the Open With command, or click Choose Program...., one of the following may occur:

  1. Notepad may launch (the selected file opens with Notepad)
  2. One of the following error messages is displayed:

Access is denied


This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options control panel.


Registry Fix

If you're running Windows XP, download openas.reg and save to Desktop. Right-click the file and choose Merge. For Windows 7 PCs, download and run openas_win7.reg and run it.

Manual Steps

To fix the problem manually, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, Run and type Regedit.exe

  • Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Unknown \ shell

  • Backup the key by exporting to a REG file.

  • In the right-pane, double-click (default) and type openas as its data.

  • Then navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Unknown \ shell \ openas \ command

  • In the right-pane, double-click (default) and set its data as follows:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL %1

  • Exit the Registry Editor.