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Restoring association for EXE files if it gets corrupted

Created: 03 Mar 2010 • Updated: 02 Nov 2010
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Aniket Amdekar's picture
+4 4 Votes
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In some cases, we get an "Open With" box while accessing any executable.

This problem occurs if the .exe file association in the registry is corrupt. This behavior is generally caused by viruses.

Click Start, Run and type "regedit"

If Registry Editor opens successfully, then navigate to the following key:

        HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ exefile \ shell \ open \ command

Double-click the (Default) value in the right pane
Delete the current value data, and then type:

    "%1" %*
    (ie., quote-percent-one-quote-space-percent-asterisk.)

Navigate to:


In the right-pane, set (default) to exefile

Exit the Registry Editor.

If registry editor does not open, then follow the steps below:

Open Explorer
Go to Tools->Folder Options ->File Types

Click on New

Provide the File Extension as "EXE"
click on Advanced
In the drop down menu " Associated File Type", choose "Application"
Click on OK.