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How to find the right program to open a file in Windows

If you've ever confronted a mystery file and searched fruitlessly for ways to open it, the free OpenWithEnhanced Windows app can make life easier for you going forward.

If you run across a work file that won't auto-open or a friend sends you a weird media file that your computer doesn't recognize, it's often too easy to give up and walk away. Windows users have a better option. OpenWithEnhanced sets up a context menu option to find and install the right app for the job. Here's how to use it: 

  1. Download and install OpenWithEnhanced. 
  2. When you're confronted with a file type you've never seen before--or you just want to see if you've got better options available than your default program--right-click it, select "Open with," then select "Choose default program..." 
  3. You should now see a window with a list of applications, installed and uninstalled, with additional information popping up as you mouse over them. You can select an app you've already installed or click "look for the appropriate program on the Web" at the bottom to go to the download page.
    OpenWithEnhanced Screenshot by Rob Lighter.

That's it! Of course, you may still find a few files that are deeply mysterious, but for most files, OpenWithEnhanced should get the job done.