How to Open a File with Other Than Associated Program

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Article ID: 141275 - View products that this article applies to.
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Windows associates file types with specific programs. When you double-click a file the associated program is notified to open the file. This article describes how to open a file with a program other than the associated program.


To open a file with a program other than the associated program, use either of the following methods:

Method 1

  1. In Windows Explorer, Windows NT Explorer, or My Computer, click the file you want to open.
  2. Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you use the right mouse button to click the file, and then click Open With on the menu that appears.
  3. Click the program you want to use to open the file, and then click OK.
NOTE: If you click to select the "Always use this program to open this type of file" check box before you click OK, the association for the file is changed to the new program you select. Select this check box only if you want to change the default association for the file type.

Method 2

Create a shortcut to the program you want to use in the Windows\SendTo folder. This lets you click the file with the right mouse button, click Send To, and then click the program you want to use to open the file. For additional information about adding items to the SendTo folder, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 141017
TITLE : How to Add Items to the "Send To" List


For additional information about associating file types with programs, click the Start button, click Help, type "associating, file types with programs" on the Index tab, click Display, and view a topic.


Article ID: 141275 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbfaq kbfaq kbhowto kbui KB141275

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