Unable to associate .WAV files!

This is extremely weird. When I installed 2.03 on Win-7, association for .wav became UNKNOWN and after attempting to set the association in the Win file association applet, it WILL NOT TAKE / ACCEPT IT. When I click on the audacity executable to associate it, WINDOWS DOES NOT ALLOW IT or Audacity does not allow it! Must this be done from within Audacity? However dropping a .wav file on the running program works fine. Any clues here? Extremely bizarre, thanks!

Ok, the reason for this is that uninstall of prior 1.13 version was not done cleanly. Many references remained in the registry regarding prior file association for old version, I had to manually clean these out.

Since file association works just fine without Audacity running (normally), Audacity doesn’t have anything to do with it. This is purely a Windows thing.

From memory:
Right-click the file > Properties > Open With. Somewhere in the dialog should be a “do this always” click. I’m not at a Windows machine.

Are you an administrator on your machine or do you have enough privileges? Win7 is a lot more sensitive to unauthorized break-ins than earlier versions.

“Who are you and why are you trying to change file associations?”


Normally that will work, but there is a “limitation” (bug) in Windows that prevents that from working if there was previously a file association to an application of the same name (in this case “audacity.exe”) in a different location.
The solution (workaround) is to remove the old file association from the registry (as Dogwalk did).
There are several free registry cleaners that will do the job, including the registry tool in Ccleaner.
We also wrote a simple “.reg” file that will find and fix this specific registry problem without touching any other part of the registry: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/making-audacity-the-open-with-default-under-win-8/28084/2

This is not a bug, this is a failure of the uninstaller to completely remove file association references as well as failure of a new installation to update such references. Things must be done correctly with regards to the registry or you will have problems. I have never run into this problem installing new versions of irfanview or foxit ever. But hey, how much can you complain about something as great as Audacity which is free. See ya!

All of the registry settings that are made by Audacity are handled correctly when updating. Association with audio files is not an Audacity setting. Those file associations were created manually by the user and instruct the operating system to open the files in a specified application. Uninstalling or upgrading software should not modify keys that it did not create.

The problem would not normally occur but is because beta versions of Audacity (the 1.3.x series) are installed in a “beta” directory. Audacity 2.x is an official, non-beta release series so it gets installed in the “Audacity” directory. Unfortunately Windows is not smart enough to mange changes to file associations when the associated application moves location to a different folder - third party applications are required.