[Solution] EXE Files Always Open with Notepad or Other Applications OR Can’t Open EXE Files in Windows

Many times people face problems while opening .EXE files.

  • The EXE file opens in Notepad.
  • EXE file opens in some other installed programs.
  • Windows displays "Open With" dialog box to choose the program.
  • Windows shows error message, "Windows cannot find .exe file. Make sure you typed the name correctly".

Most of the times it happens when you accidentally change .Exe file type settings from Folder Options. Sometimes it might happen due to virus.

Anyway no need to worry. Here are some solutions which will fix this annoying problem:

METHOD A: Using Ready-Made Registry Script

Download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. It should solve the problem.

Download Registry Script

METHOD B: Manually Editing Windows Registry

1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd or command in RUN dialog box.

2. Now provide following command:


3. It'll activate Windows folder. Now provide following command to open Registry Editor:



NOTE: If you can't open "regedit", press CTRL+ALT+DEL keys and open "Task Manager". Now click on "File" menu and hold down the "CTRL" key and click on "New Task" menu. It'll open a Command Prompt window. Now provide regedit.exe command and press Enter. It'll open registry editor without any problem.

4. Now go to following key:


In right-side pane, change value of Default key to exefile

5. Now go to:


In right-side pane, change value of Default key to:

"%1" %*

6. That's it. Now exit Registry Editor and restart your Windows. Now you should be able to open EXE files without any problem.

METHOD C: Using Command Prompt

1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd or command in RUN dialog box.

2. Now provide following command:

assoc .exe=exefile


It'll fix the problem.

METHOD D: Using Microsoft Fixit Tool

Microsoft has also released an automatic Fixit tool to fix this annoying problem. This Fixit tool is based on the same method given above in this tutorial.

You can download it using following link:

Download Fixit Tool

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Don't forget to check solutions for other common PC problems in following topic:

[Help & Support] Frequently Asked Problems with Solutions

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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