Zip File Extension Association in Vista (again)


A long time ago, I wrote about my self-inflicted woes when I accidentally associated winword.exe as my zip file handler in Vista. Then last night I got a mail from Rob (sorry Rob, haven't got a link for you) saying that my post ranks fairly high in the Google results and there was an easy solution so perhaps I should update (I'll update with a link to this post).

Rob suggested running "assoc .zip=CompressedFolder" at a command prompt or just run "cmd /c assoc .zip=CompressedFolder" from the start menu. Trouble is, I tested on two machines and it didn't solve my problem. This was odd because it's a fairly well documented fix. It also left me with two machines with broken zip file associations :-).

Last time around I found various .reg fixes so I had another search and found association fixes for Windows Vista. I downloaded the relevant .reg file for .zip and had a root around to see whether there was something else going on. I spotted:

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.zip\UserChoice]

Sure enough, there was a UserChoice node at the above path and removing the node and restarting restored everything back the way it was.

So - usual warning, messing with your registry can cause you years of pain and anguish and might break your system - it seems you can resolve this issue as a two step process:

  1. At the start prompt enter "cmd /c assoc .zip=CompressedFolder"
  2. Open regedit, navigate to the above path and delete the UserChoice node (in my scenario this node is over-riding the default handler with winword.exe)
  3. Restart Windows

Hopefully that should sort you out. Might be a good idea to backup your registry first just in case...

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