File association problem

I wanted to see if windows explorer could preview winrar files (.RAR file extension) like it does with winzip (.ZIP file extension) files. So I right clicked on a winrar file and clicked on "open with." This opened up the "open with" box which says, "choose the program you want to open this file:" There was a check mark in the box marked "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." I then browsed to the windows directory and chose "explorer.exe" and then clicked on OK in the  "open with" box. I started seeing the spinning circle but nothing happened. The spinning circle would not stop so I rebooted. After the reboot, I noticed that all the RAR file icons now looked like the windows explorer icon.

The first thing I tried to was going through the same process as before to set the file association of .RAR files back to winrar. The problem was that the check mark in the box marked "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" was grayed out and could not be selected. Windows was blocking me from taking the association away from "windows explorer." I even tried it in safe mode, but that did not work either.

I then went in to the "default programs" located in the start menu. I clicked on associate a file type or protocol with a program. I started looking for the (.RAR file extension), but it was not in there.

So then I tried uninstalling and reinstalling winrar, both in and out of safe mode, but that did not work.

Then I tried was running the system restore, but that failed. I'll have to look into that later, it has failed the last three times I tried because it could not find a file it was looking for.

I read through the post called " Problems with "File Association" in Windows 7 64-bit" on this site, but did not find an answer.

I did see something about "To fix the corrupted user profile you may refer the link below:" I followed the link and did the stuff it suggested. I made a new user and copied all of my "user files" to the newly created user. When I logged in, the file association problem was gone, but now I have to reload all of my programs, set up all of my settings, wallpapers, icons, DPI setting. More than I want to do if I can save my other user account.

Please help!



My computer specs:

Dell Inspiron 1520

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo T7500 @ 2.20GHz

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit

WinRAR 3.70

Question Info

Last updated February 27, 2018 Views 3,614 Applies to:


How to Unassociate a File Extension Type in Vista and a utility to help (Windows 7 too)

How to Set Default Associations for a Program in Windows 7

Restore Default Windows 7 File Extension Type Associations

How to Change the Default Program a File Type Opens With in Windows 7

How to Associate a File Type or Protocol Default Program in Window 7

How to Hide or Show Known File Type Extensions in Windows 7

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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