back to article New Windows 10 Build 10122 aims to fix file association hijacking

Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 10, named 10122, which includes an effort to fix file association hijacking, where a newly installed application becomes the default for opening documents with a particular extension, such as PDF, docx, jpg or MP3. In Windows 10, neither desktop nor Universal (UAP) apps will be …

  1. Magani
    Meh

    "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..."

    Really? This is Acrobat we're talking about here?

    Suggest you widen your horizons and try something like Foxit or even Nitro.

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      Re: "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..."

      I read that about Adobe and spluttered! I'd recommend SumatraPDF - lightning-fast and very light on resources.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..."

        I find Evince excellent, in most cases.

    2. Slacker@work

      Re: "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..."

      Thats what happens when you take it out of context.

      "Adobe’s PDF reader is better than the in-built Windows 8 app" This is actually true, regardless that there are so many other (better) pdf readers out there.

    3. Monkeyman
      Trollface

      Re: "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..."

      I thought the trolling was supposed to happen in the comments section. It’s a bad sign when the author is the troll king... "Adobe’s PDF reader is better..." aye carumba!

    4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "try something like Foxit"

      I used to agree with that, but Foxit has become nag/adware and is getting naughty trying to trick you into installing things you don't need.

      Sumatra is the current clean alternative.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

    You know, that parameter that they turned off in 1995, that would be grand!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

      Use a quality OS that doesn't need that silly three letter thing to to know what type of file something is.

      1. John 110

        Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

        "Use a quality OS that doesn't need that silly three letter thing to to know what type of file something is."

        What, like AmigaOS?

        1. Tubs

          Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

          BeOS *sigh*

      2. DryBones

        Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

        Such as?

        Also, how does it determine what they are, then? Does it try running every file on the off chance it's executable? Does it look at some setting in the header of the file that's even less visible to a user? How does this prevent a clueless user from running something named hotchickcaledar.pdf that has an executable icon when it should be a PDF icon, and entering their password when prompted?

        Seriously curious here.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

          > How does this prevent a clueless user from running something named hotchickcaledar.pdf that has an executable icon

          The problem in Windows is that file may be an actual executable named hotchickcaledar.pdf.exe and only appears to be a PDF. Clicking on hotchickcaledar.pdf, in say email, can actually run it as a program.

          On Unix like systems a file is not executable merely because it has a particular ending on the name, it must have an 'executable' pemission and emailed o downloaded files do not have that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

            On Unix like systems a file is not executable merely because it has a particular ending on the name, it must have an 'executable' pemission and emailed o downloaded files do not have that.

            The Unix executables don't even have icons, which is another area where Microsoft goes wrong. It's quite plausible to nick the icon used for Adobe PDF documents and use that as your executable's icon to help masquerade it as a PDF. On a Unix machine, it'd just show a generic icon for an executable binary.

            Sure, embed an icon for the application in the .exe, even use it when someone points a shortcut at said .exe, but for Pete's sake don't use it when rendering listings of the file itself!

        2. Joe Montana

          Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

          It looks at the file header to determine what it is... Executables for all modern operating systems have standard headers that include information like what architecture the binary is for, what shared libraries it requires etc. Most data file types also include similar headers, and on unix you have a command called "file" which will query this information and determine what a file is based on its contents, entirely independent of its name.

          On windows icons can be embedded into executables, but this is not the case on linux. Unless an executable has been explicitly assigned an icon (which wont be the case for something you just downloaded) it will have a generic executable icon. Real documents will also have the standard icon assigned to documents of that type, so you won't be able to download an executable that has a pdf icon and open it by accident.

          Another feature on unix is file permissions, where freshly downloaded files won't have the executable permission by default. Windows has file permissions too, but seems to default to giving the execute permission to everything. You can also mount drives with the noexec flag so that execute permissions will be totally ignored (useful for removable media).

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Re: Windows [..] seems to default to giving the execute permission to everything

            Oh it's much better than that actually. Windows gives permission to everything except yourself when you change the motherboard or reinstall it for whatever reason with your data directory outside of the OS partition (like all normal installations should be done).

            Whenever you do that, you're in for days of finding out that you don't have permission to open a given folder you created in a previous install.

            Thank $Deity for the Internet, geeks and TakeOwnership !

          2. DryBones

            Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

            Hmm, all right then. My impression was that such headers weren't already present and the icon was assigned by the OS based on the extension, though I suppose that wouldn't explain how Adobe and other programs got their icons on. So they make a calendar.exe and specify a PDF icon. Ok.

            I know Irfanview checks image headers... Great, so everyone else is just damn lazy and blindly trusting the extension.

    2. Ian Easson

      Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

      They never eliminated it at all in 1995. It's still there, in 2015..

      In File Explorer, choose Organize>Folder and Search Options. In the dialog box that pops up, go to the View tab. Then uncheck the item "Hide Extensions for Known File types".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

        They never eliminated it at all in 1995. It's still there, in 2015..

        I didn't say they eliminated it, I said they turned off display of them. Windows 3.11 displayed the file extensions, Windows 95 changed that. Unless you're telling me that now in 2015, it defaults to displaying file extensions, my point stands.

        Use a quality OS that doesn't need that silly three letter thing to to know what type of file something is.

        Ohh I do, but that few hours of my week where I have to interact with Windows, particularly other peoples' Windows computers, it would make it a lot nicer if I could see what the extensions are.

        Because those extensions are for us humans, not computers. The computers can always look at the first few magic bytes of the file to be sure.

  3. Tubs

    Apps? There are apps?

    My laptop refuses to launch the store at all. :(

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Apps? There are apps?

      Lucky sod!

  4. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Still infected with those bug-ugly tiles I see.

    1. dogged

      Re: Bah!

      Only if you want them. But if all you're going to do is look at the pictures, they should be perfect for you.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Only if you want them. But if all you're going to do is look at the pictures, they should be perfect for you.

        So you already have a solution to what you assume is my problem with the tiles?

        How Microsoft of you!

        1. dogged

          Re: Bah!

          Not at all. I'm simply pointing out that the tiles are only there in Tablet mode and can be removed entirely, by you, by anyone. That's called a choice.

          Do you object to choice?

          How very Apple of you.

  5. Huckleberry Muckelroy

    Win 10 continuing Bug

    I redid the laptop, build 10074 iso, and it seems to have the bug 0x80246017 that plagued build 9996 that prevents d/ling update builds; nasty that.

    On a more heartening note, God Mode works just fine on Win 10. So you can mosey over to http://www.pcworld.com/article/2881613/unlock-windows-10s-hidden-powerful-godmode-tool.html

    and get your buddy back. It'll fix yer file assns too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 10 continuing Bug

      I see PC World is relabeling its articles to make them look new. That trick has been around since Vista, at least.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Joe Belfiore said there would be adware and spyware in 'start menu'

    don't forget that in the vicinity of the 'recently installed' area of the start menu is a *special* thing that Joe Belfiore talked about in his keynote speech at the 'build' conference, about 2-3 minutes in:

    "But the thing I want to sort of focus on a little bit is this space right here, where in this case I haven't installed an app for a little while. So the system is going to give us a 'smart suggestion' for an app in the store that is going to be one that's suitable for ~me~. As I'm using my PC, on the client we know which apps you're launching, and which apps you're installing, and so we're able to communicate with the store and bring down suggestions that are personalized for ~you~, to help users learn about great new apps that are available for them to try out on their PC. And as time goes by we re-use that space, in a smart way, to help _script_ the user's discovery of apps first, but then their engagement later, so if I've installed an app, as you see here, for a little while that space becomes 'the recently installed app'. The user can find the app, they can revisit it, and if they use it enough, it will move its way up into the 'most used' section, automatically, and of course at any time the user can drag from left to right, to take any of those apps, and pin them as full, live tiles."

    'smart suggestion' - that's an ADVERTISEMENT.

    "on the client we know which apps you're launching, and which apps you're installing, and so we're able to communicate with the store and bring down suggestions that are personalized for ~you~,"

    that would be SPYWARE.

    I have not yet installed this build, but I see evidence of it "coming soon" in 10074. Has anyone seen the adware/spyware in 10122 actually DOING that?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Joe Belfiore said there would be adware and spyware in 'start menu'

      It's the same trick as supermarkets do: check your recent receipts for things you never buy and offer you vouchers for them: "Ah, you buy lots of fresh vegetables and meat: why not buy this hair product?"

      I'm no great fan of Windows but the presence of adverts and helpful suggestion will trigger the same response in Windows as they did in Ubuntu: I won't use it.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      One more reason

      One more reason for me to never ever install Windows 10. Except this is the clincher.

      An OS is NOT supposed to be watching me, controlling what I do and reporting back to the mothership in order to find ways to sell me stuff. We have Google for that, thank you very much.

      Windows 7 works fine. It will continue to do so despite MS retiring its support for it. Win7 is good enough for what I need doing, and I think it will be good enough for a while yet.

      Meanwhile, other alternatives are becoming serious contenders. Open Source is definitely the future, and SteamOS is going to go live this year (I hope).

      So, when Win7 finally kicks the bucket technically, I am betting that I just won't need Windows any more.

      Good riddance.

      1. dogged

        Re: One more reason

        > One more reason for me to never ever install Windows 10. Except this is the clincher.

        I can only assume you comment on Windows 10 articles to somehow attempt to convert others to your viewpoint (a glance through this thread reinforces the assumption quite strongly).

        Why?

        Will your opinion become more "right" if other people agree with you?

    3. M Gale

      Re: Joe Belfiore said there would be adware and spyware in 'start menu'

      http://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/3681_micus0004299_nyt_v3feb1.jpg

      But Bob, they're not spying on you! They're putting people first! Only Google spies!

      Microsoft would never do such a thing!

      Ignore the man behind the curtain!

  7. Glenturret Single Malt

    Control Panel

    Right click on Microsoft symbol and there it is.

    1. Tim Anderson

      Re: Control Panel

      True :-) but it still seems to me that a search in the Start menu should find it.

      Tim

  8. timblackwell

    An awkward moment

    If, like me, you happen to have a folder called C:\DATA, then build 10122 will move it to

    \Windows old\data, and put its own, nearly empty c:\data in its place. As I keep all my work in a folder called C:\data, which gets synchronised between work, laptop and home, this was disconcerting.

    Obviously, since this is MS, the installer doesn't ask if it's OK to do this. Nor does it tell you that it's done it. Nor is it mentioned in the release note. At first glance it just looks like all the c:\data content is gone.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That's because Microsoft knows what you need better than you do.

      At least, that's what Microsoft thinks.

      1. Jagged
        Joke

        Foolish Microsoft. Don't they know only Apple knows what you need better than you do?

  9. j7n

    Microsoft should make a powerful manager for file type associations if they are preventing third party software from handling this task. "Folder Options" on steroids, with a compact, tabular or tree view of all associations. I realize it is not going to happen, because we must have big icons with lots of whitespace around them in the Metro world.

    The program should be able to assign and remove an application from handling an "action" to a long list of file extensions all at once (mp3, mp2, mpc, ogg, etc), but without merging those extensions into a single ProgId. Each format should be able to have its own icon and format name. The action could by default be "Open", but should be customizable. It used to be very tedious to choose a program for each file extension in "Open With", again and again.

    Having one "default app" is not enough. For example, for image files I would expect to see choices Open (with IrfanView), Edit with Photoshop, Edit with Paint Shop Pro, Edit with JPEGCrop, Crush with PNGCrush, etc. Likewise for audio files: the default action on doubleclick should play them, and the rest should perform editing actions in much more bulky specialized software. Leaving it up to Microsoft to define what "image files" or "sound file" are is not acceptable. It will take forever for MS to add exotic formats to those categories.

    The applet should allow the user to _choose_ with a simple checkbox whether to "prevent applications from changing file associations". Can software still write to the HKCR registry key directly to add associations without involving an API?

  10. Mark Simon

    Extension Hijacking

    I thought Microsoft invented the idea in the first place. I remember when .doc files were not MS Word files, but Microsoft soon put an end to that.

    In any case, does this make it harder to change your default web browser. I thought it was counter-intuitive enough, but this could make things worse. This may be the only way Microsoft can claw back some of its lost market share. Of course the EU may have something to contribute to this.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why it's faster

    A Microsoft source confirmed that the new build seems faster only because it isn't downloaded onto your machine until the previous build has finished a deep scan of all your drives followed by a bulk upload of all data found (aka 'telemetry') to Microsoft's servers.

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