FIX: How do you want to open this file?

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The message How do you want to open this file poping up is not harmful but can be annoying.
  • An obvious answer to how do you want to open this file message is to select the program you want to use for opening the file.
  • A more permanent how do you want to open this file fix is to change the default app settings.
  • For that, you will have to select each main file type and select the default program for them.
How to fix How do you want to open this file
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The message How do you want to open this file pops up either when you just installed a new copy of Windows 10, or if you reset the Windows settings, or in the case you’ve never opened that specific file type.

This message is Windows 10’s attempt to set a default application to be used when trying to open different types of files.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to deal with this message, and we will discuss how to make it go away for good if you want to. Read on to find out more.

What can I do if how do you want to open this file pops up?

  1. Choose a default program to open your file
  2. Change the Default app settings

1. Choose a default program to open your file

  1. Double-click on the icon of the file you want to open, to get the message How do you want to open this file message.
  2. When the message appears, you can select any of the compatible programs from the list, or click on More Apps to search for another software inside the Microsoft Store.
  3. If you already know which app opens the file, then you can also click on the Always use this app to open file, to set that application as default.
    always use this app How do you want to open this file

Note: This solution works great if you don’t mind going through the same process every time you encounter this error.


2. Change the Default app settings

  1. Click on the Search bar and type default programs.
  2. Select the Default apps.
  3. You can click on each of the sections for the main file types, and choose a preferred default program for that file type.choose an app how do you want to open this file
  4. Now Windows will automatically open up photos by using the Photos built-in app (or any application you choose)

Note: The software available in the list will vary depending on the type of file you want to set the default app for


In this article we explored two methods which will take care of the How do you want to open this file message.

The solutions offered in this list will surely resolve any problems relating to this issue. Please feel free to let us know how this worked out for you by using the comment section below.

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