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File Extensions, Registered Viewers, Changing File Associations
About File Extensions and Registered Viewers
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Every computer file has a file extension. This way, your computer will know which program to use to open the file. Sometimes though, when you get a file in email or download a file and try to open it, you will get a window that asks what program to use to open the file. This happens because you don't have a file association. Not having a file association just means that you don't have a program registered to open a file or you may not have a program that is capable of opening that type of file. Also, after installing a new program, that program may take over opening a file. The good news - fixing this is simple!
Common File Extensions Used Online
These are just a few of many file formats that are available. A complete list of file extensions are available here.
About Programs and File Extensions
A registered viewer is the default program that will automatically start and open the file when the file is clicked on. (You can change this easily)
During software installation a program may make itself the registered viewer of certain files.
Even though a program is not the registered viewer, it can still open certain files but the file must be opened with the program that you want to use.
You may not be able to open some files because you don't have a program that will handle the file. (Good News - Many programs don't have to be purchased - you can get free file viewers)
System files (such as dll files) are not meant to be opened by the end user.
Now that you understand what file extentions are, what registered viewers are, let's talk changing file associations.
NEXT... Changing File Associations
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