This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action

How To Fix "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" Error In Windows 10

You may receive the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error when trying to open Display settings in Windows 10, attempting to personalize the background, etc. The name of the error indicates the specific problem. For example, the name of the error pertaining to opening Display settings is "ms-settings:display". The name of the error pertaining to personalizing backgrounds is "ms-settings:personalization-background", and so on.

The error states that you must install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control. A Default program is the software that the Windows operating system uses to open certain file types. Each file has a specific file extension (.doc, .png, .mp3, etc.) assigned to a specific program. A Default program starts the application (a file) each time you run it. This can become confusing when Windows asks you to install a program or create an association in the Default Programs control panel when you are trying to personalize the background or open display settings. Previously, you may have simply performed these operations without having to associate default programs.

This problem is a known Windows bug that can appear in all Windows versions. Fortunately, there are some workarounds and methods to fix "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error. Read the guide below and follow the methods to allow you to access display settings, personalize backgrounds, etc.

this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action

Table of Contents:

Download Windows Troubleshooter

First, you can run Windows troubleshooter. Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. There are built-in and downloadable troubleshooters. In this case, you must use a downloadable troubleshooter. Download this troubleshooter and run it. Click "Advanced" and ensure that the "Apply repairs automatically" checkbox is ticked. Many users have reported that this troubleshooter solved the problem when "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error occurred when trying to personalize backgrounds or opening display settings - see if this troubleshooter solves the problem for you.

download windows troubleshooter

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Reset Windows Store Cache

Resetting the Windows Store cache might fix the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error when trying to personalize your background. WSReset.exe is another troubleshooting tool that is designed to reset the Windows Store (to clear Windows Store cache) without changing account settings or deleting installed apps. Press Windows (Win) key + R (or right-click Start and select "Run") and type "WSReset.exe" in the dialog box. This will reset Windows Store cache. See if this fixes the error.

reset windows store cache

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Run System File Checker

System File Checker (SFC) is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore them. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan your system files and to repair missing or corrupted system files (including .DLL files). If a Windows Resource Protection (WRP) file is missing or corrupted, Windows might not behave as expected. For example, some Windows functions might not work, or Windows might crash. The "sfc scannow" option is one of several specific switches available with the sfc command, the Command Prompt command used to run System File Checker. To run it, first open Command Prompt first by typing "command prompt" in Search, right-click on "Command Prompt", and then select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu to run Command Prompt with administrator privileges. You must run an elevated Command Prompt to be able to perform a SFC scan.

run system file checker step 1

In the Command Prompt window, type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter on the keyboard to execute this command. System File Checker will start and should take some time to complete the scan (about 15 minutes). Wait for the scanning process to complete and restart your computer. See if this fixes the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error.

run system file checker step 2

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Run Deployment Image Servicing Tool

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a built-in Windows tool that can be used to repair and prepare Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. It is usually able to fix various problems relating to the Windows operating system. If for some reason you were unable to run System File Checker, run the Deployment Image Servicing tool and then try to run the System File Checker again. To run a DISM scan, open Command Prompt as administrator and type this command: "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth". Press Enter on the keyboard to execute it. Wait for the process to complete and see if the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error is fixed.

run deployment image servicing tool

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Add Your User Account To The Administrators Group

Some users have reported that adding their user account to the Administrators group fixed the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error. To add your user account to Administrators group, open the Run dialog box (press Windows (Win) key + R or right-click Start and select "Run") and type "lusrmgr.msc". Press Enter or click "OK".

add your user account to the administrators group step 1

Now click the "Groups" folder on the left pane, and then find and double-click "Administrators" in the middle pane.

add your user account to the administrators group step 2

In the Administrators Properties window, find and click the "Add..." button.

add your user account to the administrators group step 3

In the Select Users window, find the "Enter the object names to select (examples)" box and enter your user account name. Click "Check names". Your account name should appear - click "OK", and then click "Apply" and "OK" to save the changes. Your user account now will be added to the Administrators group. See if this fixes the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error.

add your user account to the administrators group step 4

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Scan Your System For Malware

It is possible that the error is caused by malware or virus infections on your computer. We recommend that you perform a full system scan and see if it detects any malware on your computer. You can use Windows Defender (built-in antivirus program), which protects your computer against viruses, spyware, other malicious software. To run a full system scan using Windows Defender, type "virus" in Search and click the "Virus & threat protection" result.

scan your system for malware step 1

In the Virus & threat protection window, click "Advanced scan".

scan your system for malware step 2

Select "Full scan" and click "Scan now". This will start scanning your system for malware. If there are any viruses found, delete them.

scan your system for malware step 3

If you wish, you can choose a virus and malware scanner from our Top anti-malware list. The list consists of well-known top spyware removers and will help you choose the right software for your computer's protection. Find the list by clicking this link. 

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Edit Windows Registry

Windows Registry, usually referred to as just 'the registry', is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more. Many of the options exposed in the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. To edit the registry, use Windows Registry Editor. To open Registry Editor, open the Run dialog box (press Windows (Win) key + R or right-click Start and select "Run") and type "regedit". Press Enter or click "OK".

edit windows registry step 1

Now follow this path: "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile" by navigating to this location on the left pane. Right-click the "Inkfile" entry and select "New", then "String Value".

edit windows registry step 2

Name the new string as "IsShortcut" and press Enter.

edit windows registry step 3

Close Registry Editor and restart the computer. See if this fixes "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error.

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Restore Your System Using Restore Points

A final technique we recommend you try (this one has helped many users) is to run System Restore using its restore points. A restore point is a collection of important system files stored by System Restore on a given date and time. System Restore reverts everything to a saved restore point, but first, you must have one recorded. If a restore point does not exist on your computer, System Restore has nothing to revert to. To use this tool, you must have previously created restore points. With a created restore point, this feature will bring your system back to the previous working state, without affecting your files and data. If you have any system restore points that were created before you started experiencing issues with your account - you might be able to fix the problem by performing a System Restore. To restore your system, launch Run. To start it, press the Windows Key + R and type "rstrui.exe". In the Run dialog box, press Enter or click "OK".

restore your system using restore points step 1

In the System Restore window, click "Next".

restore your system using restore points step 2

If there are restore points created, you will see a list of them. Mark the "Show more restore points" checkbox - it should display more restore points. Select the most appropriate restore point (depending on the time created, etc.) and click "Next". Do not select a Restore Point at a time when the problems with "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error were already present - you certainly do not want to revert to that state.

restore your system using restore points step 3

Confirm your restore point. The computer will be restored to the state prior to the event detailed in the "Description" field. If you are happy with your choice, click "Finish" and the system restore process will begin.

restore your system using restore points step 4

We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to fix the "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action" error and can now use the Windows operating system without any problems. If you know of other methods that solved the problem not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

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