Email attachment reports No File Association?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Sue' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Sometimes I receive an email attachment from a friend, and I can't open it. For example: I recently tried to open a PowerPoint file and received an error message stating, 'This file does not have a program associated with it. Create an association in the Folder Options in Control Panel.'

How do I go about doing that? I installed PowerPoint, hoping I would be able to view it that way, but was unsuccessful. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. "

My response:

If the attachment was indeed a PowerPoint file and you're absolutely certain that your friend sent you this file (I.E.: you specifically asked to receive the file previously), *and* you've got PowerPoint installed on your PC, it should have automatically opened PowerPoint.

Having said that: if the file was *not* legitimate (I.E.: it was virus in disguise), it is possible that your firewall has renamed the file extension of the email attachment to protect you from executing a potentially dangerous file. I know that ZoneAlarm does this (if the option is enabled).

If you are reasonably sure that the email attachment is legitimate and you have the necessary safeguards to protect yourself (just incase it is malicious), you can get around the "this file does not have a program associated with it" problem by manually by saving the file attachment(s) to a temporary folder, and then rename the file(s) to include the correct file extension.

How to Manage a File Extensions to Associate a Program with a File

If you don't know what the proper file extension is for a file, then you need to get in touch with the person who sent you the attachment and ask them what program they use to open the file. Installing the associated program will resolve this issue (usually).

If the file extension ends in a familiar suffix and you still cannot execute the file, you may need to manage your file extensions in order to associate the appropriate program with the file.

To do so with Windows XP:

  1. Open an Explorer Window (click start -& run -& type in "explorer", no quotes, and press Enter).
  2. Next, go to Tools -& Folder Options, then click on the File Types tab. Scroll down the list of image file types and edit each one to open with a specific program.

Good luck. And remember to always be cautious about opening email attachments, even if they appear to have come from a friend!

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