Frequently Asked Questions
- What are file associations?
- Why do I need to be concerned with file associations?
- Why should I use Associate This to manage my file associations instead of the Windows File Types dialog?
- I have an older computer. Will Associate This run on my PC?
- Where can I learn more about the file extensions on my computer?
A file association is a "link" between a type of data file and the program that Windows uses to open or display it. For example, documents created by Microsoft Word usually end with the extension ".DOC". If you double-click on a .DOC file in Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word runs and loads your document, provided that .DOC files are "associated with" Word on your computer.
Most people don't think about file associations until they install a new software program and discover that their file extensions have been hijacked! The wrong program opens the file.
Associate This is a file extension manager that works "behind the scenes" to protect your system from software that changes your file associations without your knowledge. With Associate This monitoring your file extensions, this will never happen to you.
Windows does provide a mechanism for changing file associations (through the File Types dialog). The Windows offering is very limited in scope, however. It lets you change an association, but does not monitor your associations, prevent them from being changed in the first place, or notify you of changes. It can also be dangerous for less sophisticated users as it allows a program's command line parameters to be changed, possibly rendering your software inoperable. Associate This, on the other hand, does not allow you to make potentially detrimental changes to your system configuration.
Associate This also includes other nifty features such as Open Tracker, which lets you choose the program you want to use to open a file, and Association Detective, which finds alternative associations on your computer.
Absolutely. Associate This has minimal hardware requirements. It will run on any computer with a 486 or faster processor and 16 megs of RAM, running any version of Windows from 98 to XP.
A great online resource for this type of information is FILExt ("The File Extension Source") at www.Filext.com. FILExt has the most complete database of file extension data on the Internet. If you need help identifying a file extension on your computer or want to know which programs can read a file, search the FILExt database or post a question on their public forum.