How do I make .pl run as perl programs on windows

On Microsoft Windows, if  when you click or type the name of a .pl file, you get an error "is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file", then this means you do not have the .pl file extension associated with the perl interpreter.  This is normally done by the installer, but not always.

To associate files:
    1) Start Windows explorer
    2) Select, from the menu, Tools -> Folder Options
    3) Select the File Types tab
    4)  Look in the list for a PL extension.  If it does NOT exist:
        4a) Click New
        4b) Type pl for extension
    5) Select the PL extension in the list
    6) In the section "opens with", click Change
    7) Select perl.exe
    8) Click OK until all Windows are closed.

Comments (3)

Top Expert 2009


I've seen this issue several time in the perl programming zone.  The problem is that, on windows, the file extension is used to determine how a file should be handled.  If, when installing perl, the .pl file extension is not associated with the perl interpreter, then, when the user tries to run the perl program by double-clicking the file, or typing the name, they get an error.

The solution is very simple - associate the .pl file extension with the perl interpreter.  This is the reason for so few words.

Perhaps this isn't worthy of an article.  I decided to write it because I've seen the problem several times, and thought it would be helpful.  
Top Expert 2009

Changing status to notify. Apologies, the articles system is still sort of a "beta" status. Please see my 2 comments above.
Top Expert 2009


I'll update the instructions to work with Vista also.  I only have XP to test, but from your notes, it seems that the right-click method works on both XP and vista, so I'll provide instructions for that method.

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