Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 4, 2017
Re-associating files to open with correct applications

Have you ever clicked on a file and it either didn’t open with the appropriate app or not at all? Sometimes our files need to be “re-connected” to the appropriate app so they open properly. Here is how to easily accomplish this task.

First, open Finder and then locate the file in question. If you want to practice, you can select any file in your Documents folder. Go ahead and right-click the file and then select Get Info. When the box opens, look in the section Name & Extension. It is the Extension part that we are going to view. The extension is the three letters after the file name. The reason we want to look at the extension is to determine if we have the correct application to open this file.

Here is an example. Let’s say the extension is “doc.” Open Safari and in the search bar, type in: “What application opens Doc on my Mac?” At the very top of the search results, you’ll see this description: “Apple includes a free, basic word processing program called TextEdit on all machines running OS X, its computer operating system. Use TextEdit to open Word documents on your Apple computer. 1. Press “Command-Shift-A” from your Mac’s desktop to open your applications list.”

This description gives us an indication of how to open this file with an app on our Mac. There are other programs or apps that can open a doc file and if you continue your research in the results, you’ll find other descriptions for other apps that may work out. The whole point of this is to determine if there is an app already on your Mac to open the file.

If you find you don’t have the correct app, now you know what you need to download and install.

Next, we will associate your file with the correct app. Go to the file again, click it once and then press Command + i on your keyboard. In the box, select the section Open with. In the drop-down menu, select the app you need and then if you want to have all files with this same extension opened with this app, select the Change All button. Now, all your files with this extension will open with the app you selected.

For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at

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