[Solved] How to Fix the “explorer.EXE – This File Does Not Have an App Associated…” Error in Windows 11 and 10

If you’re seeing the frustrating “This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action” error in Windows 10 or 11, you’re not alone. This stubborn issue can pop up when trying to open files or randomly throughout your workday. While the causes can vary, common culprits include OneDrive misbehavior and incorrect file associations. In this guide, we’ll walk you through potential causes and proven solutions to get rid of this pesky error for good.

Below is the full error:

Title: Explorer.EXE – Message: This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action. Please install an app or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Apps Settings page.

Understanding the Problem

The error implies that Windows can’t identify the correct program to open a specific file type. This can happen due to:

  • OneDrive Issues: OneDrive synchronization or updates can sometimes interfere with file associations.
  • Missing Default Apps: Windows relies on default apps for common file types. If these are missing or misconfigured, you’ll encounter the error.
  • Registry Problems: While less common, corrupted registry entries related to file associations can trigger the problem.

Step-by-Step Solutions

Let’s troubleshoot this error methodically:

Solution 1: Manage OneDrive

  1. Temporary Pause: Right-click the OneDrive icon in your system tray and select Pause syncing for a few hours. See if the error stops during the pause.
  2. Restart OneDrive:
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
    • Locate any Microsoft OneDrive processes under the Processes tab.
    • Right-click on each and select End task.
    • Relaunch OneDrive from the Start menu.

Solution 2: Change Explorer’s Default View

  • Search Start Menu for File Explorer Options and select it.
  • Under the General tab, change the Open File Explorer to: setting to This PC.
  • Click OK.

Solution 3: Registry Edit (Advanced Users Only)

Caution: Incorrect registry changes can damage your system. Create a backup or system restore point before proceeding.

  • Search for regedit in the Start menu and open the Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\opennewwindow\command
  • Look for the value named DelegateExecute. If it’s missing, right-click, select New, and then String Value.
  • Name the value DelegateExecute.
  • Double-click on the DelegateExecute and set the Value data to {11dbb47c-a525-400b-9e80-a54615a090c0}
  • If the entire opennewwindow is missing, then download the folder association registry fix for your Windows version from the links below. Run the .reg file to apply the fix:

Solution 4: Restart Your PC

A simple restart often resolves temporary glitches. After applying any of the above fixes, reboot your machine.

If the Error Persists

  • System File Checker (SFC): Run SFC to repair corrupted system files: In the Start menu, search for cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. Learn more about repairing file corruption: How to Repair Windows 11 and Image with DISM Command Tool.
  • Antivirus/Malware Scan: Rule out any interference from malicious software.


By following these steps, you should banish the “This file does not have an app associated…” error. If you have any tips for others facing this issue, please share them in the comments!

author avatar
Derick Payne
My name is Derick Payne. With a deep-seated passion for programming and an unwavering commitment to innovation, I've spent the past 23 years pushing the envelope of what's possible. As the founder of Rizonetech and Rizonesoft, I've had the unique opportunity to channel my love for technology into creating solutions that make a difference.

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