How To Change Default Edit Open Image In Photoshop Or Other Editor


A question asked from one of our reader, he wants to know how to change the default editor when click right click an image and click Edit. By default Windows will open the image in Paint. This is pretty much a useless app to do any photo editing or retouching. A more practical approach will be edit a photo in Photoshop or some other useful photo editor tools like .NET Paint etc.

Here Is How You Can Change The Default Edit Command To Open Images in Photoshop

Launch regedit.exe from start menu.

Go to navigate to Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command change the default value "%systemroot%\system32\mspaint.exe" "%1" to something else. But before you make any changes,  go and find the right path to the application you want.

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In my case, I will change the default editor to Photoshop, replace the existing value to something like below. Pick the path according to your own application, and be sure to keep the %1 at the end, this will ensure the editor will open the current image.

"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64 Bit)\Photoshop.exe" "%1"

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Now once you are done, you can go ahead and give it a try. No restart necessary. Now when you right click any image and click Edit this will now go straight to Photoshop. Pretty handy shortcut !


  1. Still amazes me that Windows doesn’t make this easier.

    I highly recommend “Default Programs Editor”,

    It provides a sane way to accomplish this task for any file type, plus more.

    From the site:
    “Default Programs Editor makes it easy to fix file association settings in Windows, including context menu items, icons, and descriptions. Also: autoplay settings and default programs settings …all without fiddling around in the registry.”

    I found it when, for no apparent reason, my Win8 setup had no default context menu entry for printing text files. Adding one was a breeze.

  2. how about from within Windows ‘Photos’? I want to launch photoshop when selecting ‘Edit’ from within the photo viewer app.

    • I found that in Windows 10 the behavior is different, but in Windows 7 within the Windows Photo Viewer and go to ‘edit’ would result in the same behavior to launch Photoshop or whichever the designated editor.


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