Changing File Associations in Windows 8

A quick post, and a good reminder of something that can be a pain. I had to do a quick search for the solution, and wanted to write about it in the hopes it will help me remember the issue.

Opening the wrong program

I was working with some XML files. I had a list of them and double clicked one.


When I did, I got this:


Not a big deal, but slow, and what’s more, I then got to close this:


I love Plan Explorer and it’s a great tool, but not for XML files containing data unrelated to execution plans. However, I do need to update my version, which will happen shortly.

What I really want to have happen is the XML file to open in notepad. I could right click it, and I have been, but about one out of every three times I go back to look at a file, I double click it out of habit.

The solution

I need to change the file extension association. I ran a quick search and used the link referenced at the bottom. That led me to the Control Panel. I knew it was in there somewhere, but rather than hunt around, I googled.


I’ve scrolled down to the spot under Programs | Default Programs | Set Associations. I picked .xml and then to the right I clicked "change program". I chose notepad, and the next time I double clicked the file, I got it open quickly and easily.




Windows 8 Tip: Change File Associations –

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