Friday, September 28, 2012

Reregistering Microsoft Office file associations

Had a hardware fault on the laptop and while running through some tests accidentally activated the copy of Office 2007 that came installed with it and it changed all the file associations over. Theoretically this should be easy to change back - locate a Office file, right-click and chose "open with" then locate the excel executable I want to use and set this as the default. Yeah right.

Despite changing the icon and appearing to change it in the registry it still insisted on running the new version.

In the end in took opening up a command prompt changing to the correct Office directory and running each executable with "/unregserver" at the end and then "/regserver" to set them all back to default.


Dan H said...

The problem is that Office has a special dispatcher program. Because different Office document versions are mutually incompatible but have the same extension, the extension is associated with the dispatcher. When you open the file, the dispatcher reads it, decides what version it is, and opens the appropriate Word (or whatever) version. Thus, whichever Office version(s) you have, it's still associated with the dispatcher, and the Office installer has to register it with the dispatcher instead of the usual file association mechanism.

FlipC said...

Makes sense, just annoying. I can imagine smaller offices with licences for a specific Office version trying the later version that came with the new computer and then getting stuck.