Windows Error "This file is not associated with a program": causes and effective troubleshooting methods

The Windows operating system from Microsoft is the most demanded and used product on any type of computer devices, distinguished by reliability, multifunctionality, coherence of work of all software components and ease of operation. Despite the increased popularity, the constant improvement of the product by the developers, the disruption of the operating system are not uncommon, even though all the forces of the corporation have been eliminated. In this article, we’ll tell you about the error, namely, the causes and ways of eliminating it, the message “This program does not associate a program with a message”, which mainly appears against the background of a preliminary update or reinstallation of the operating system, with limited operating capabilities of the PC user.

Eliminating the error "This file is not associated program."

Causes of failure and features of its manifestation

If the user reads these lines, it means that he had to face a personal problem with a malfunction, a notice that appeared on the screen, the text of which begins with the words “This program is not associated with a program”. The error is immanent not only for the Windows 7 version, but is also inherent in the relatively new Windows 10 OS, so the information presented in the article, which focuses on eliminating the failure “This file does not match the program, ” will be relevant for all PC users, regardless of the variation of the operating system being used. . Symptoms of the appearance of the problem under discussion are as follows:

  1. Windows does not allow opening the base program “Explorer”, or opens it, but the paths in the directory are displayed incorrectly, which limits its operation.
  2. The monitor displays shortcuts with incorrect paths, which prevents the possibility of working with them.
  3. Attempts to start any system utility are completed by flashing an error or by sending out software without “explanatory” notifications.

Naturally, in this mode it is simply impossible to work on a PC, the user has to look for answers to the questions, what does the notification mean “This file is not associated with a program”, and how to restore the computer’s functionality and functionality.

If you carefully read the text of the notice, it becomes clear: simple manipulations, consisting in trying to open the required software with a certain program, do not solve the problem, since it is not due to an elementary prohibition on playing files of a particular format, but does not allow downloading system software components, which complicates the task. Professionals with the purpose of troubleshooting often use methods of rolling back the system to a known working moment, or reinstall the OS, however, these measures to deal with the problem are considered radical, and they are not always necessary, since you can eliminate the message in more simple ways. Microsoft developers are aware of the problem in this category, and offer on the official website several options for troubleshooting, and without the use of drastic actions.

Check for correct updates

Since the problem of the class under discussion often arises against the background of pre-reinstalling the system, automatically or manually updating it to the latest version, it is logical to assume that an error occurs directly against the background of an incorrectly performed upgrade of the OS or its underlying components. As a result, the system, due to the absence of critical components, cannot correctly select and match the program necessary to open the required file. The elimination of this kind of error is described in detail on the Microsoft website: the developers explain the problem by defective updating the system to the latest variation or by the lack of an up-to-date OS upgrade. To restore the PC, with a focus on solving the problem with the problem under discussion, professionals recommend checking initially whether the latest operating system updates are installed, which can be inspected by logging in to the Windows Update through the Control Panel. Maximum attention needs to be paid to the system component having the code KB3081424, which often acts as a provocateur of the problem.

If the operating system for any reason limits the possibility of an upgrade, the developers recommend downloading a diagnostic card called the Diagnostic Tool from the official website, and using this tool to check and fix in Windows automatic mode. After diagnosing and updating the system, the computer will automatically be subject to a reboot, after which often the problem is eliminated. If this option did not give the desired result, you should try another method of dealing with the error proposed by the developers of Microsoft, which consists in editing the registry data.

Registry Editing

Often the reason provoking the inability to work with applications of a systemic nature are “broken” or incorrect registry entries. Some professionals recommend starting to fix the problem from this position, however, due to the criterion that some components of the registry have to be corrected manually, the majority of users who are not well versed in the system nuances leave this method “in case of emergency”. The task of editing registry data does not fall into the category of complex, however, when it is executed, it is important to strictly follow the instructions in order not to “touch” the parameters that do not need to be changed, since the possibility of further correct PC operation depends on it. Instructions for performing editing registry data is as follows:

  1. In the Run window, which is invoked by simultaneously pressing the Win and R keys, you must enter the Regedit installation to open the contents of the registry.
  2. Through the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT directory, proceed to a folder called Lnkfile.
  3. Next you have to check in the folder the presence of a file named IsShortcut, which is directly responsible for the ability to compare the program to activate the working program and file system components.
  4. If such an item is not in the folder, you will need to create it. To do this, click on the free field with the right key of the manipulator, select the item “Create” from the drop-down list, go to the “String parameter” section, and assign the name IsShortcut to the created file.
  5. After the executed manipulations, it remains only to close the registry and restart the PC for the changes to take effect.

If everything is OK with the registry, the component responsible for matching the programs is present in the directory, or the actions that were taken did not solve the problem, you should proceed to check the next version of the problem.

Adding Administrator Legal Privileges

Often, the factor that provokes the appearance of an error, which is visually displayed as a caption on the screen “This program is not associated with a file, ” is the banal absence of a user account in the Administrators group. The problem of this category is solved by performing the following actions:

  1. Through the "Run" window you need to enter the section "Local Users and Groups" by introducing the lusrmgr.msc directive.
  2. Open the "Administrators" section of the "Groups" folder.
  3. Expand the Administrators component by double-clicking on it, where, at the bottom of the window that opens, you will need to select the Add command.
  4. In the field "Names of selectable objects" you must enter the name of your account. In order to avoid mistakes in the name, you need to activate the "Advanced" button, click the "Search" button in the left pane of the maximized window, after which a list of all users will open at the bottom of the screen.

  5. After selecting your account from the expanded list, the account will be automatically added to the "Names of selectable objects" area. Changes are confirmed with the OK button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Before rebooting your PC, you will need to go into the "Groups" section again and delete your profile from all groups, leaving it only in the "Administrators" section.

Often this method works, however, in situations where none of the programs open on the PC, the problem is rarely solved by the methods described above. In such cases, to solve the problem, you will need to use the following method of dealing with a malfunction, which consists in restoring the system to installation drive resources.

Recovery via installation disk

To perform restoration work, the user will need to use the installation drive with the OS, the corresponding variation, installed on the PC. The recovery process must begin with the boot disk, after which you will need to activate the Windows installation. The start of the recovery process should be performed in the same way as installing the OS: activate the “Install” button, skip the “Receive updates” step, enter the product license keys, and confirm the agreements requested by the system. Work differences begin at the stage when the system requires you to select the type of installation: to restore the data, just run the Update process, which will allow the registry to return its operational status. At the end of the process, it remains only to check the performance of the PC: the probability of eliminating the problem after the executed manipulations is almost one hundred percent.


A few years ago, the slightest precedents from the functioning of the PC predicted a mandatory appeal to the service center in order to solve the problem with the help of specialists. Modern users in most cases prefer self-remediation, and do the right thing, since most of the errors that occur during the operation of a computer device are eliminated easily, which can be done at home, without outside help. Knowing the cause of the problem and familiarizing the network with the rules of its elimination, the user can simultaneously save both time and money, additionally gaining valuable knowledge and additional experience of interacting with the PC. As for the error of the category being discussed, its elimination is rarely accompanied by difficulties, often alternately performing simple manipulations according to the regulations described in the article, allows you to quickly and correctly achieve a positive result.