Issue

When multiple versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, or any other Creative Cloud application, are installed on Windows, uninstalling the latest version breaks file associations for the earlier versions. Windows returns the error: Windows cannot open this file..., opens the Open With dialog box, or opens the file with a different application.

Solutions

Solution 1: Use the Open With dialog box to establish the file association

This solution uses Photoshop as an example. For any other product, replace that product's filename extension and executable name with the product and file type you are attempting to restore.

  1. In the failed file association dialog, choose Select A Program From A List Of Installed Programs. Then click OK.

  2. Click Browse.

  3. Navigate to the Illustrator executable for your version of Illustrator. For example, for Photoshop CC 2017, navigate to %Program Files%\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2017\Photoshop.exe.

  4. Select Photoshop.exe and click Open.

  5. Ensure that the option, Always Use The Selected Program To Open This Kind Of File in the subsequent dialog box is selected.

  6. Click OK.

Solution 2: Use Windows control panel to establish the file association

This solution uses Illustrator as an example. For any other product, replace that product's filename extension and executable name with the product and file type you are attempting to restore.

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel.

  2. Double-click Default Programs.

  3. Click Associate A File Type.

  4. Select .ai from the list.

  5. Click Change Program.

  6. If your desired version of Illustrator is listed, choose it. Otherwise, click Browse to locate it and click Open.

  7. Ensure that Always Use The Selected Program... option is selected. Click OK to close the Open With dialog box.

  8. Double-click the .ai file to ensure that it opens with your preferred version of Illustrator.

Solution 3: Set a default path in the Registry

This example takes Illustrator as an example.

  1. Choose Start > Run, type regedit in the Open text field of the Run dialog box, and then click OK to open the Registry Editor.

  2. Navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Adobe Illustrator Artwork 21.0\shell\open\command

  3. Make sure that the (Default) value is set for the path where Illustrator is installed.

    If the path is incorrect, double-click (Default) and type the following text with the quotation marks and "%1"in it:
    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Support Files\Contents\Windows\Illustrator.exe" "%1"

  4. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Adobe Illustrator Artwork 21.0\shell\edit\command

  5. Make sure that the (Default) value is set for the path where Illustrator is installed.

    If the path is incorrect, double-click (Default) and type the following text with the quotation marks and "%1"in it:

    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Support Files\Contents\Windows\Illustrator.exe" /e "%1"

  6. Right-click the file of the format you want to associate with Illustrator and choose Open With > Choose Default Program.

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