Configure a File Type Item

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

The File Type preference item allows you to create, configure, and delete file name extensions associated with a particular class of files (such as text documents). Additionally, the preference item allows you to associate applications for opening, editing, and other actions as well as icons to file specific file types. Before you create a File Type preference item, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with the item.

Creating a File Type item

To create a new File Type preference item

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console . Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit .

  2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration , expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Control Panel Settings folder.

  3. Right-click the Folder Options node, point to New , and select File Type .

  4. In the New File Type Properties dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

  5. Enter file type settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "File type settings" in this topic.)

  6. Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

  7. Click OK . The new preference item appears in the details pane.


This type of preference item provides a choice of four actions: Create , Replace , Update , and Delete . The behavior of the preference item varies with the action selected and whether the file type association already exists.


Create a new file type association. If the file name extension in the file type item is registered on the computer, then the new file type association is not created.


Remove an existing file type association. An association exists when the file name extension in the file type item is registered on the computer. No action is performed if the association does not exist.


Delete and recreate the file type association. The net result of the Replace action overwrites all existing settings associated with the file type association. If the file type association does not exist, then the Replace action creates a new file type association.


Modify a file type association. The action differs from Replace in that it updates the settings defined within the preference item. All other settings remain as they were previously configured. If the file type association does not exist, then the Update action creates a new file type association.

File type settings


File extension

Associated class

Choose from the list of registered classes the one you want to associate with the file type. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

Configure class settings

Select Configure class settings to configure advanced class settings.

  • To associate a file icon with the file name extension, type the full path in the Icon file path . Alternatively, you can Browse (…) to the file location. Browsing to the file location automatically populates the Icon Index box.

  • To associate applications for opening, editing, and other actions upon this specific file type, click New . Type the name of the command Windows displays on the shortcut menu and the program Windows launches along with any required specifications. Click OK .

Additional considerations

  • Each subaction configured replaces in full any subaction of the same name that was previously registered under the Associated class. Apart from overwriting a subaction, this item does not support removing subactions, or other items in the Actions list.

  • You can use item-level targeting to change the scope of preference items.

  • Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

Additional references