SOLVED File Associations & Default Programs set in stone.


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Can anyone throw light on what is happening when Windows 7 (64-bit) doesn't allow the de-selection of some settings in Default Programs?

I have my default browser set to Firefox and when I click on a URL link in email or on a website, Firefox opens the clicked link as it should.

But... when I go to Start Default Programs Set your Default Programs Choose Defaults and look at Internet Explorer it shows ticks in mht; mhtml and url internet shortcut.
Surely URL should be showing as not ticked since Firefox opens all typed or linked URLs?

It tells me the Internet Explorer has 3 out of 9 defaults.
But trying to un-tick URL as an associated default - the system won't let the tick be removed. It remains firmly in all 3 boxes mht mhtml and url

Going to the File Type Associations list and scrolling to URL that shows a generic logo with Internet Shortcut Internet Browser but doesn't say which browser. There seems only to be an option to change the browser option but gives no list of what browsers I have as a choice. I have IE8 version 8.0.769.17514 64-Bit and I run Firefox as my main default Browser but I also have Google Chrome.

Looking at the settings for Internet Options under Programs it has a strange bit of information that says Internet Explorer 64-bit cannot by the default browser. Let head scratching begin! It was the default browser before I installed Firefox.

Can anyone untie the knots in this digital knitting for me please? I'm more confused now than when I started looking for settings to check them out.
Thanks
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Plado
 
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davehc

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The default Programs Option will not allow you to change the options, if they are already selected in your default browsert. For example, if you open the Firefox default program, and select the options, and then deselect something, it will then, back in IE, allow you to select that same option.
IE 64 Bit was, I am afraid, never your default browser. It is still in Beta stage and cannot be selected as such.
 
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Thanks for that clarification. If the default Programs Option has settings to change things, then what is the point of having settings that can't be changed? That seems a little screwy to me - not logical. Are you saying that all program's own options over ride anything that is settable in Windows?

It seems I was mistaken on the IE 64bit though. Maybe when I first fired up this Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, it had an earlier IE version on there, and as usual with Microsoft it immediately bullied me into upgrading to IE8 64-bit without telling me that it won't be possible to set it as the default browser. Still that's not so bad as I don't ever want IE8 to be my default browser when IE has been overtaken long ago by superior browsers.

It's a bit of a shame that some websites are set up only to work properly when using IE - but that's not a microsoft issue.
Thanks again for your help on this.
I think I can understand it better now !
Cheers
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Plado

The default Programs Option will not allow you to change the options, if they are already selected in your default browsert. For example, if you open the Firefox default program, and select the options, and then deselect something, it will then, back in IE, allow you to select that same option.
IE 64 Bit was, I am afraid, never your default browser. It is still in Beta stage and cannot be selected as such.
 

davehc

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It may be a point of view? I find it quite logical, that I am unable to change the settings on a program which is not my default. It is a help, as, if I wish to change back to that program (IE) then my original defaults are still intact.
 

TrainableMan

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By the way, .mht and .mhtml files are a special way of storing an entire webpage including encoded pictures and everything into one big huge single file termed a web archive and they are exclusive to Microsoft (IE, word) so Firefox couldn't open it even if you could change the setting.

The .URL I cannot unselect mine under IE either but if I actually click on a shortcut with a .URL extension it does open in Firefox
 
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Kougar

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TrainableMan is right, mht and mhtml files are IE formats, and they are typically files used for webpages you've saved on your desktop. Firefox can only open them if ya download a plugin for it. More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MHTML

I think y'all are going about this the wrong way. What is the use of de-selecting a default program, without the OS knowing which program should take it's place? Instead of de-selecting file associations, browse to the program you wish to use and select it as the default. That will override any previously set defaults... since I use Opera I can select it as default for htm and html pages and it will automatically unselect IE. As for .URL... those are desktop shortcuts to websites, and the .html default should open those regardless.

Windows 7 comes with a special standalone 64bit IE9 browser install, but only the 32bit version of IE is used by default. The 64bit version is nice and has tighter security, but it requires 64bit plug-ins for Java, Flash, any most anything else just to function properly.
 
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TrainableMan

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I didn't realize there was a FireFox add-on for .mht and .mhtml files, so thank you Kougar :)
 
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Kougar

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Haha, thanks Clifford! It's been ages, slowly getting back into things again... :)

TrainableMan, I didn't know mht files were IE specific myself, I thought they were a generic container format because Opera opens them natively. Although Opera uses xhtm/xhtml for its own saved pages... anyway I'm glad ya found the info to be of good use. :)
 
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Instead of de-selecting file associations, browse to the program you wish to use and select it as the default. That will override any previously set defaults... since I use Opera I can select it as default for htm and html pages and it will automatically unselect IE.
What you're saying sounds perfectly logical to me, but when I tried doing that - I came up against two problems. I wanted to make VLC Media Player the default program for MP4 files because Winamp won't play them properly despite two weeks of trying to find what's wrong with the codecs. There's no settings in VLC media player to tell it what files to make it the default player for. The only way to set it is to go to one of the actual files and choose Open With and choose Browse for default program, then tick always use this program. But that leads me to problem number 2

When I set VLC player to be the default for MP4 files, they open with VLC player on that session but the next time I reboot, the default goes back to opening Winamp and the darned thing plays the audio only and no video. Windows 7 wrong footing me and bullying me by the look of it.

Going into the Windows 7 Defaults setup, I notice that there's no listing for VLC media player in the box of program choices. Every other program but VLC.

I've even tried going into the settings for Non Windows Program defaults and I can't even get it to set right in there. The user settings are quite frankly a nightmare.
We never had this trouble in XP. I'm not yet a fan of 64-bit at least not for the limited level of usage that I make of the computer. Audio Video Graphics Email, Browsing the Web and word processing, and that's my lot. W7 64 bit does seem to be a bit too clever for its own good at this point.
 
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TrainableMan

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See if the vlc associations stick if you set them within vlc. It is an option, see how here ...
vlc-assoc.jpg
 
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davehc

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What happens if you select one of your media files and then "Open With" and , if VLC is not showing, browse to the VLC exe - Mark the small square "Always use the selected ----"...
 
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How come you always come up with the right answers that solve the problems.
I'm getting jealous !!

That did the trick. Or at least I think it did but I haven't rebooted yet to see if it "took".

Thanks for telling me where to find the File Associations settings in VLC - they're a bit hidden aren't they? I wonder why they buried the settings in "Interface" and not in something related to files and management of files?

I'll report back if the trick didn't work. But so far it looks good.

Cheers
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Plado
See if the vlc associations stick if you set them within vlc. It is an option, see how here ...
View attachment 3259
 
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What happens if you select one of your media files and then "Open With" and , if VLC is not showing, browse to the VLC exe - Mark the small square "Always use the selected ----"...
I did that about a dozen times - going to the file and right clicking then choosing open with and choosing the program and ticking the box. It didn't stay set to VLC. That was the main problem as something kept making it go back to using Winamp. I think winamp is a bit of an intrusive program to be honest, but it's too useful to throw out.

Going into Windows 7 own settings for default programs the VLC media player isn't offered as an option for any handling of video or audio, it simply doesn't appear in the list and there's no way to browse to it.
 

TrainableMan

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Going into Windows 7 own settings for default programs the VLC media player isn't offered as an option for any handling of video or audio, it simply doesn't appear in the list and there's no way to browse to it.
I'm not sure why some programs make it into the "set your default programs" list and others don't. The question of how to add your programs to this list has been asked and I have yet to see an answer. So yeah it can be a bit hard to figure out Microsoft at times but hopefully the settings inside VLC have solved your immediate problem.
 
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Well it seems to have worked perfectly. I now have the VLC logo showing against all the files I want it to be associated with.
WMV MPG AVI MP4 VOB and a few others. A reboot showed the associations definitely stuck. So I think my problem can be added to my list of troubles cured on the Windows 7 Forum.

This forum so far works the quickest in my experience at getting answers and ideas to solve problems. I've not put many questions here yet but it seems to be just about the best place to come with a problem. So thanks to all and in particular to TrainableMan because of your infinite patience with some of us grumpy old sods!
Cheers
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TrainableMan

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because of your infinite patience with some of us grumpy old sods!
My exGF used to always use the quote "patience is a virtue possessed by few women and no men" ... she eventually lost hers, with me :p

Glad we could help.
 

Kougar

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Sorry I didn't get to reply to this thread sooner... did you get the problem resolved?

The reason the VLC settings won't stick is likely because Winamp Agent is a program that "helpfully" resets Winamp back to default associations. You must disable or uninstall Winamp Agent so it can't undo your file association changes. I am not sure if it can be removed by itself... but if you are careful during the Winamp installation process you can prevent it from being auto-installed in the first place.

Unfortunately Windows 7 doesn't allow users to lock down file associations and prevent other programs from reverting or changing them. Perhaps that's a feature someone should ask for in Windows 8!

I'm not sure why some programs make it into the "set your default programs" list and others don't.
The OS will only know about program associations if the host program properly configures the Registry... if the program doesn't create Registry entries then the OS won't know about them. Programs that don't require installation to run typically do not modify Registry settings or make Registry entries, instead they store their settings in a standalone ini file.
 
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davehc

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See his last post. He has solved the problem on a suggestion from Trainableman.
 
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TrainableMan

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Well if it does revert back you might definitely look into what Kougar mentioned (and someone searching Winamp may find the information of benefit as a warning to them.) Having that information "out there" can never hurt.
 

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