How to Bypass “Windows Can’t Open This File:” Dialog Box in Windows 7

So how many times do you see this box shows up and telling you “Windows can’t open this file” blahblah. And stupid enough it will ask you “What do you want to do ?” by default the option points to “Use the Web Service to find the correct program” which will launch the IE and doing an endless and pointless look. And the result ? It’s totally unnecessary, and useless information. To be honest, I just hate every time when I see this prompts.


So is there a way to disable this dialog box from popping up ?

Hell yeah, but you need some third party app to do this and it will definitely worth to check it out. It’s called Default Programs Editor. Well you might think you probably don’t need to use this because you already had everything set and default program is all good. But this app does more than that.

Download the free tweak utility Default Programs Editor, and lunch it


Click on the left bottom setting button. This will bring you more options.


And yes, there is an option you can toggle. “Disable ‘search web for unknow extension’ Dialog Box” Once you clicked that. It will toggle the option, and you should see something like this.


So after you’ve done that, whenever next time you open up something that the system doesn’t recognize. It will go straight ask you which software you want to open up with.


There you go, you will now not ever see that dialog box ever again.

Enjoy 🙂

Download the Default Program Editor here

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Tools
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Matt B.

Where are the under the hood hacks that you can do with Windows 7? Using this program and using that program really isn't all that interesting, but that seems that's all that is being blogged about… Kinda takes away a bit of credibility from your actual site's name: Windowsy7Hacker

Been looking for something more lately…


Well Matt, guess you haven't check out who we are and what's our goal is 🙂


That’s a pretty great way to go around with the dialog box in win 7, I admit it’s quite annoying when it comes out frequently. however, isn’t this helpful anyway to open such files when you don’t know the appropriate program to deal with them? I found a great tool though, that can help open unknown file extension which can be found here..

kerry keeler

OK that works Windows 7. Is there an a method as easy for Windows XP?


thank you so much!!!!


Rather than installing an application to do that, just set the registry entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorerNoInternetOpenWith to 1.

Alton johnson

Thanks. Got as far as: PoliciesExplorer, but could not find “NoInternetOpenwith” Would appreciate your help.



Make it. Make a new key.

Red Rose

Thanks . it workzzz

Bill Mayhew

This sounded like a good idea ,so I tried to download the Default Editor , guess what came up , –windows cannot open this file — anyway I go I hit a dead end , don’t know where to go now , and what I’m looking for . Bill


How do I reset the registry with 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorerNoInternetOpenWith to 1. ?


You forgot to hide the filename in the last picture.