Changing Stubborn File Associations in Windows 2000

Note: This applies directly to Windows 2000 though I think it may work in Windows XP.

The easiest way I have found to get around pesky file associations that want to use a “restore” function when you change their associated file is with a little registry hacking. First, create a new file association type named .fqd (or anything for that matter as long as it is something that doesn’t already exist). Modify this new file type to be exactly like you want the pesky file type you want to change to be (.htm for example). Now, after you complete that, open up regedit and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.fqd (or whatever you named it). Look for the value of the data in the default key. It will probably be something like ‘ft000008′ or another ft00000x where x is the number of the new association created. Anyway, now go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.htm (or whatever key you want to change). For example, .htm is linked with the key htmfile. Go to edit this to also point to ft00000x. Now you can safely go back to file types and delete the created file type .fqd (or whatever) and you have a new association. You could also create one of these keys from scratch, but I figured for non-experienced registry hackers that it to be best to create it with a user interface and then link it. You could also rename the type to make it more descriptive if you wished.

That said, this is still so hackish that I normally just hope that the program I want to change the association to has a built-in mechanism for changing the association itself. Moral of the story, final associations suck.