How to get documents to open in WordPad and Not Microsoft Word?

Hi Experts,

I want to keep a Note File on my desktop, saved in RTF or similar format that will open with Wordpad (sometimes called "Microsoft Write") when I double click it.

Because I have Microsoft Office 365 installed, even if I use Wordpad to create a document, the next time I go to open it, it defaults to opening with Microsoft Word, rather than Wordpad. I want to change this behavior.

What's the best way to change this behavior in Windows 10 Professional so that when I double click saved as say "Document.rtf" on my desktop, that it will open in Wordpad and not in Microsoft Word, without screwing up my Office 365 install?

I do know a couple of ways to achieve this, but I'm not sure my ideas are the best ones to use.

I'd appreciate some assistance / suggestions from other Experts Exchange experts.

Thanks for any help.

LVL 24
Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistAsked:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Control Panel > Default Programs > Set Associations
Just replace the RTF association to Word to Wordpad instead

On Windows 10 at reboot you'll be warned by the system that "something" has changed the association (just in case it wasn't you!)

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Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistAuthor Commented:

That was one of my ideas, however, have you verified that doing this will not affect my ability to still use Microsoft Word to edit RTF files?

Thanks for your assistance.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Word will still work with Rich Text, all you are changing with File Associations is what the file icon looks like and which program opens it when you double-click.  If you want to open .RTF with Word after making the change you'll either have to right-click "Open with" and choose Word or open Word first and then the .RTF file.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
It might even be quicker to right-click on your .RTF with its current Word icon and choose "Open With" then change the Default program from there.   There are lots of ways to skin this particular cat!

(The path to the Wordpad executable is (as ever in Windows) Windows\write.exe)
Andrew LeniartIT Consultant & Freelance JournalistAuthor Commented:

Thank you for your prompt participation in this question!

Your answers confirmed what I already had in mind so I found all of your comments to be very helpful.

Thanks again, much appreciated!
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Windows 10

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