One semi-common way to bork Windows is to make all .exe files (i.e. programs) open with some program instead of launching as programs in their own right. People apparently do this with several programs:

I believe these are all essentially the same question (just with different associations), and there are basically only two answers to it. Are these all duplicates of each other?

The best dupe target, if we were going to close them, would probably be How to repair a broken .EXE file association.

  • 10
    If a single answer can answer all of them then they are duplicates of one another
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


The community has spoken - all those questions have been closed as duplicates of How to repair a broken .EXE file association. That makes it, evidently, the authoritative dupe target for "I broke my EXE association!" questions.

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    The only issue I had with the question you picked as the "original" was that it has only one answer, and that had a potentially "dangerous" solution, with the boldface disclaimer, "Use at your OWN risk! There is no guarantee that this will work!"., and the first comment by the OP was that it didn't work.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 23:23
  • @fixer1234 I think it didn't work at first because the OP saved it as a .bat instead of a .reg, which clearly won't work. That solution is just as dangerous as any Registry modification.
    – Ben N
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 23:24
  • It's just that if we're going to refer people to a "canonical" thread, there are some characteristics that make a good one and some that are less than ideal, especially for non-technical users. Latter category: sending people to a thread with a single answer if it is one they can mess up with serious consequences. It's a second strike when it contains indications that don't engender confidence, like a disclaimer that it's dangerous plus it might not work, and a comment that it didn't. But that may be just me. Perhaps it would help to add an explanatory comment with context on the answer.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 0:50
  • 3
    @fixer1234 Yeah, that makes sense. We should probably reopen superuser.com/q/490421/380318 and close the current target as a dupe thereof. I have voted accordingly.
    – Ben N
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 0:52
  • Two good answers, both citing Microsoft sources. Excellent choice! :-)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 1:21

What if one day Microsoft releases some version of Windows (or, probably a rolling snapshot of Windows 10) that isn't compatible with that solution anymore? I believe future questions after that should be considered their own group of duplicates, rather than this one, is that correct?

  • 1
    Correct. Duplicates are the same or similar questions for which the answers are the same. If the answers don't apply to a new version (of anything), the question should be differentiated to indicate that difference, in which case, it's no longer a duplicate question.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 6:01
  • If the answers are different, then the questions should certainly be different. Hopefully the authors of new questions would explain that existing solutions didn't work. However, it is my understanding that Windows file type registration has not changed significantly since Windows XP (and possibly earlier).
    – Ben N
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 16:54
  • This can be said of any question. If in the future, the answer no longer applies, then new answers should be written then, but not now.
    – surfasb
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 19:05
  • So you'd have one question for "How do I fix EXE association in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8?" and another for "How do I fix EXE association in Windows 10.1 and later?", as I described in this answer on MSE. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 21:24

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