Many users are complaining that Windows 10 automatically resets file associations after installing updates. Like if you have VLC player as your default music player, Windows 10 will automatically set the default Groove Music as default player when you install a major update.
Some say that file associations were reset to default after installing Threshold 2 update but many users have been complaining that the file associates were reset even after installing regular updates.
There is no way in Windows 10 where you can make backups for file associates, however you can make backups by using third-party tools like Default Programs Editor.
Method 1 of 3
Backup file associations using Default Programs Editor
Step 1: Download Default Programs Editor from the link below. Unzip the file to get the portable version of the program.
Step 2: Run Default Editor Programs, click the link labelled Create or restore a backup of registry settings.
Step 3: Click the Create a backup button, click Yes to any User Account Control Prompt.
Click Create a backup button again to create the backup of file associations.
To restore file associations backup
Step 1: Run Default Programs Editor, click Create or restore a backup of registry settings link.
Step 2: Select a backup from the available backups and then click Restore selected backup button. Click Yes button if you see the User Account Control prompt.
Method 2 of 3
Backup file associations using Registry
This method is ideal if you want to backup and restore file associations without the help of third-party software. Complete the given below instructions to backup and restore.
Step 1: Open Registry Editor by typing regedit in the start menu search box or Run command box.
Step 2: Navigate to the following key:
Step 3: Right-click on the FileExts key and then click Export option.
Step 4: Enter a name for the backup of your file associations, and then click the Save button to backup file association backup using Registry.
Note that after backing up file associations using Registry, we recommend you check if it’s possible to restore the backup without any issues as you might get errors while restoring the registry backup. If you’re getting “Can’t import error” while restoring the backup, we suggest you use the third-party program Default Programs Editor mentioned in Method 1 to backup and restore file associations.
To restore the file association backup using Registry
When you restore file association backup, make sure that all the programs that you previously installed while creating the backup are present on your current install of Windows as well.
This is because, when you restore the file association backup, Windows doesn’t check if all the programs mentioned in the backup are installed on the system and you might end with an error while opening a file. That is, for instance, if you had made Adobe Reader as the default PDF reader before backing up file associations and uninstalled the Adobe Reader after the backup, you might get an error while opening a PDF file (after restoring file association backup).
Step 1: Open file Explorer and navigate to the folder containing file associations backup that you have previously created.
Step 2: Right-click on the file and click Merge.
Step 3: Click Yes button when you see the confirmation dialog.
Step 4: Click OK and reboot your PC once to implement the changes.
Method 3 of 3
Restore file associations to their defaults
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Click System.
Step 3: Click Default apps. Scroll to down to see an option labelled Reset under Reset to Microsoft recommended defaults. Click the Reset button to restore to default file associations.