Email attachment type – the key to opening email attachments. This week, subscriber Gerry Seebach wrote:
I am having a problem opening some email attachments.
I can open anything to do with media player and you tube. I think the ones I can’t open are slide shows, not sure though.
I get a message saying "This file does not have a program associated with it.For performing this action create an association In the folder options control panel."
How do I do this? Thanks for your help.
In order to open an attachment, you need to have the corresponding program installed on your computer that recognizes that file type and has registered with Windows on your computer that it can handle the attachment.
The error message is telling you that you don’t have that program installed, or that somehow it’s become unregistered (with your Windows installation) as the default program for that particular file type.
How can it become unregistered? You might have installed a different program that told Windows that it would open that file type. If you later uninstalled that other program, Windows would likely not know how to open the file type.
You can do a Google search for the filename extension, e.g. ppt (the Microsoft PowerPoint file type), to see what program will open that file type.
If the program happens to be PowerPoint, and if you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your computer (it’s part of Microsoft Office and is also available separately), you can download a free PowerPoint viewer from Microsoft.com.
If you do have the program installed, but it won’t open the file, the easiest way to fix the problem is to:
- save the attachment to your hard drive
- use Windows Explorer (right-click on Start button, then Explore) to find the file you saved
- right-click on the file
- hover over the "Open with" option, which will display a list of programs that are registered with Windows as being able to open that type of file
- pick the program you want to use
- if the program is not listed, select "Choose default program…"
select the program from the larger list shown, or click the Browse button to select the actual program file
- put a checkmark in the box that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file"
- finally, click the OK button