This article was previously published under Q258583
Files on your computer are "associated" with programs that start automatically when you double-click a file. For example, text (.txt) files are typically associated with the Microsoft Notepad program. When you double-click a .txt file, Notepad starts automatically and the file is opened. It may be useful to open a file in a program other than its associated program. For example, you may want to open a .txt file in Microsoft Word for Windows (any version) to use its advanced text editing features. This article describes how to open a file without its associated program starting automatically.
To open a file without its associated program starting automatically:
Open the folder that contains the file you want to open.
Press and hold SHIFT while you right-click the file, and then click Open With.
WARNING: Before you follow this step, verify that the Always use this program to open this type of file check box is cleared (does not have a check mark). If necessary, click to clear this check box. If you do not clear this check box, you may permanently alter your file associations, possibly requiring reinstallation of one or more programs.
In the Choose the program you want to use box, click the program you want to use to open the file, and then click OK.