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Summary :

this file does not have a program associated with it

You may be annoyed when receiving the error message “this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action” while you try to open a file, run an app or a game. Take it easy and here MiniTool Solution will give you some solutions to this problem so you can easily get rid of trouble.

This File Does Not Have an App Associated with It

If you are running a Windows 10 operating system, you may encounter a strange problem when running a game, third-party program or opening a file. An error message is as shown below:

This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel”.

This problem may happen on these apps – Explorer, Excel, Adobe Reader, or OneDrive. Additionally, the error message can appear when you open a USB drive due to your AutoPlay settings.

If you are encountering such a problem, what should you do? Now, you come to the right place and we will show you how to easily fix it.

Fixes for File Does Not Have a Program Associated with It

Create a New Windows User Account

According to users, creating a new Windows user account can be helpful to fix this problem. Here is what you should do:

Step 1: Go to Start > Settings > Accounts.

Step 2: Under the Family & other users tab, click Add someone else to this PC.

add someone else to this PC

Step 3: Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.

Step 4: Click Add a user without a Microsoft account.

Step 5: Enter the user name and password.

Tip: In Windows 10, you can create a local account or a Microsoft account. This post - Windows 10 Local Account VS Microsoft Account, Which One to Use introduces the difference between them and how to create each one.

Add User Account to the Administrator Group

Some users have reported that this solution is helpful to fix “this file does not have a program associated with it”. Let’s see how to add your user account to the administrator group.

Step 1: Press Win + R to launch the Run command, input lusrmgr.msc and click OK.

Step 2: Click Group and double-click Administrators from the right side.

Step 3: In the Properties tab, click Add.

administrator properties

Step 4: In the Enter the object names to select field, input a user name, click Check Names and OK. Alternatively, you can click Advanced > Find Now to search for your user name.

Step 5: Finally, click OK and Apply to save the change.

Now, you can check if you still receive the error message.

Run SFC and DISM Scan

If system files are damaged, you may fail to open your app or file with the error “this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action”. To fix this problem, you can perform an SFC scan and DISM scan in Windows 10.

Step 1: Launch Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2: Input this command: sfc /scannow and press Enter.

Step 3: The scan will start. Don’t interrupt it until the scan finishes.

sfc scannow

After that, check if the error is removed. If it still exists, do the following operations:

Step 1: Run Command Prompt with admin rights.

Step 2: Type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter.

repair windows 10 image with dism thumbnail
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After the scan, your problem should be fixed. If not, try another solution.

Disable AutoPlay

As mentioned above, the file association error may be related to the AutoPlay setting. To fix this issue, you can disable this feature.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Devices.

Step 2: In the AutoPlay tab, ensure the toggle of Use AutoPlay for all media and devices is Off and make sure the AutoPlay settings for Removable drive and Memory card are Take no action.

disable AutoPlay setting

Change Registry

Before the fix, you should create a system restore point or back up your registry keys in case anything goes wrong.

Step 1: Input regedit to the search box of Windows 10 and run this editor.

Step 2: Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Lnkfile.

Step 3: Check if there is a value called IsShortcut in the right panel. If you cannot find it, recreate it by right-clicking the empty place, choose New > String Value and name it as IsShortcut.

Besides, you need to check another value by following the guide below:

Step 1: Go to this path:


Step 2: Double-click (Default) in the right panel.

Step 3: Make sure its value data is set to %SystemRoot%\system32\CompMgmtLauncher.exe.

registry editor

Remove Certain Keys from Registry

If you encounter the error “this file does not have a program associated with it” while opening a folder, you can remove certain keys from Registry to fix it.

Step 1: In Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell.

Step 2: Expand the shell folder, delete the find and cmd folders.

shell folder in registry

Reset File Association

Windows 10 is set to open files with its default apps by default but sometimes you change these settings, leading to the error message discussed in this post. Here, you can reset the file association to fix your issue.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps.

Step 2: Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults.

reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults

The End

If you are having the problem “this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action” in Windows 10, now you should have resolved this issue after trying these solutions mentioned above.

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