I can’t explain how disappointed I was. I was angry too. I had just tried out a new freebie image viewer and decided I didn’t like it. Most good applications will remove their custom settings when you uninstall them. This time I was foiled because the uninstaller decided that it couldn’t read the install.log file it had created.
What could I do now? I had let the new application take over all of the image filetypes. I could manually delete the program, but that wouldn’t change all the system registry entries it would leave behind. The Windows registry is what controls the filetype settings and I wasn’t looking forward to making all of those changes manually.
After I mentally kicked myself for not using an installation monitor like Z-Soft, I manually deleted the program from my Program Files folder. Then I opened regedit and used global searches to remove all entries containing the name or the former path of the now dead image viewer. It took me awhile to do this and I was still kicking myself for not being more careful. Warning: Editing the Windows registry to remove entries is risky and can leave your PC in worse shape than it started out.
Naturally after I’d removed all of the registry entries, none of my images were opening up like they used to. I decided to do a Google search for restore default image typesand sure enough, someone had solved this problem. I found the answer I was looking for at a trustworthy site. The site is owned by Ramesh Srinivasan, an old acquaintance of mine, an all around nice guy and a Microsoft MVP. About 5 years ago, I’d written about one of his websites and he was kind enough to link back to me after we exchanged a few emails.
So, what did I find there? I found a tiny little application called imageditor.exe. The app’s name doesn’t really give you a clue about what it does. Take a look at the interface and you’ll get a good idea how to use it.
Note: This utility is intended for Windows XP systems only. Ramesh said that he is working on similar fixes for Vista, which may also work in Windows 7. (Update: Here are default file type fixes for Win7 and Vista)
Okay, it isn’t super simple to figure out by just looking at it. I’ll explain it to you now.
The top pull-down menu allows you to choose individual image filetypes such as – BMP, DIB, EMF, GIF, JFIF, JPG, JPE, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF and WMF. It lets you restore each filetype individually, as needed, when you click the button beside it.
You may not like the image viewer that Windows assigns by default. The center text field let’s you force Windows to use the viewer you want. Just choose a filetype from the pull-down at the top. Hit the Browsebutton and then select an image viewer that you’d like to assign as the default image viewer for the image type you have selected.
Finally, the bottom section let’s you re-assign all of Windows image types to the Windows default viewers in one quick action. Add checkmarks to the boxes you’d like to change, then hit the Repair associationsbutton.
I used this last option after checking every one of the 12 image types. It worked perfectly.
â€¢ Thank you Ramesh you are awesome. I hope to talk to you again some day.
â€¢ To the people behind CoffeeCup Free Image Viewer thank you for your defective uninstaller. It led me to find this cool tool.
â€¢ For the rest of you out there – don’t do what I did. It’s not smart to install new applications without running an install monitor or at least setting a Windows Restore point. Good luck, and I hope you never have to edit the registry. It isn’t fun and it’s not always safe.
Download Imageditor v1.1 from windowsxp.mvps.org
Techie Buzz Verdict:
If you’re image filetypes get all mixed up, imageditor may be exactly what you need. It’s free, it’s small and it’s easy.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)