Open with

Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

Open with is a Microsoft Windows feature that allows you to choose what program should be associated with a file type. For example, when opening a file with a .log file extension, or any other file type Windows doesn't recognize, the Open with window will open. It is then up to you to decide what program should be used to view the contents of the file. The Open With window will look similar to the one pictured below.

In the example below, a .log file is written in plain text, which means it could be open with a text editor, such as Notepad. If you are uncertain what program to use, view our file extension listing to see a listing of file extensions and their associated programs.

Open with

If the file has already been associated with another program or is opening in a program that does not work, you can change the default Open with program by following the steps below.

  1. Right-click the file and select the Open with option. If this is option is not visible, hold down the Shift key and then right-click the file again.


  1. Right-click the file.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, click the Change button to change the Open with program. In the example below, you can see that .txt files open with the TextPad program.

Open with in file properties

Tip: If a program has multiple associated programs, you can choose the Open with program by right-clicking a file and then selecting the Open with option in the file menu.

Native file format, Open, Open file, Software terms