Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. February 17, 2004
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Open it in Notepad
There are times when you want to open a file such as Read.me, Autoexec.old, or Bootlog.prv. All of these files have one thing in common--they are "unknown" files that have no associated program. Because what you want to do most often is open the file in NotePad to read it, why not make NotePad the default for unknown files? To do this, you need to edit the Registry. So be careful, and let's get started. Click Start, Run, type

regedit

and press Enter. Now navigate to

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Unknown\shell.

Click Shell and then right-click in RegEdit's right pane. Choose New, Key and name the new key "Open." Now click the new Open key and right-click in the right pane. Choose New, Key again and this time, name it "Command." Double-click the (Default) icon and when the dialog box opens, type

notepad.exe %1

and click OK. Close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit) and restart the computer.

Now you can double-click any icon with an unknown extension, and it will open in NotePad. Of course, not all files will open in NotePad, but those that won't will let you know.