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OpenWith Enhanced

By frieger Free Editors' Rating

Editors' Review Staff Jan 16, 2012

If you've ever tried to open an unfamiliar file or program in Windows, you've seen the Open With dialog, which lets you open it from a list of available programs or browse to the appropriate application. OpenWith Enhanced replaces the built-in Windows feature with an enhanced dialog that not only lists installed programs but offers recommendations based on other users' experiences with similar files. OpenWith Enhanced downloads the latest metadata from an online database. It not only suggests appropriate programs on your system but also uninstalled ones that can do the job, with download links and even purchase information, for programs that aren't free. OpenWith Enhanced is freeware.

It's true that many common things become scarce when you look for them, and unassociated files and programs are good examples. But we'd recently downloaded a file that seemed a likely candidate. We right-clicked this file and selected Open With on the context menu, and were rewarded with the OpenWith Enhanced interface, which is basically the same as the Windows dialog but with uninstalled programs shown in red in the Recommended Programs field. Hovering the cursor over any of these entries produced information about the program as well as its popularity among users for the given task. The program functions like the Windows tool in every other way, including the Browse button and the check box to choose to always use a program, but that's not the end of it. We could configure the background color of highlighted programs, for instance. We could open the program's Web site for more information about finding the right app for the right job, access enhanced help online, and remove and manage associations. OpenWith Enhanced file association tool includes an interesting extra, the ability to disable file associations for certain users instead of all users. The Settings includes the ability to opt out of transmitting any usage data, and no personal data is transmitted.

Windows does a lot, but there's always room for improvement. We're fans of free tools that enhance existing capabilities with useful improvements. OpenWith Enhanced fits the description.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.10

Version 1.10 supports Windows 8 OS and has some improvements and bugfixes in networking code.


Release February 14, 2013
Date Added February 14, 2013
Version 1.10

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2003, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows XP
Additional Requirements none


Total Downloads 2,869
Downloads Last Week 1
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Developer's Description

OpenWith Enhanced is a small application which replaces the standard Windows 'Open With...' window with an improved comprehensive yet intuitive dialog box. Instead of just presenting the original Windows plain list of installed applications, requiring you to guess the best choice for opening a given file - OpenWith Enhanced extends this list with some of the most popular applications selected by past users to successfully open that specific file type, based on a constantly-updated metadatabase automatically downloaded off the web. Applications that have already been installed onto your computer are marked accordingly, so you will know immediately which ones you have access to. If you choose a non-installed application however, you will be redirected to the appropriate program's official website that contains all the relevant downloading and purchasing information. So each time you stumble upon an unknown file type and wonder what program could possibly open it, or you are looking for a better application to deal with the files you are already familiar with - all you have to do is simply right-click into the Open With... menu and choose. In addition, OpenWith Enhanced includes several extra handy options: Change the icon associated with each file type; Remove or disable for a current user any given file association (especially handy on WindowsVista / Windows7 OS, where such options aren't available through standard UI); Clear the Open With... menu from any unneeded applications; Autofill file type description for new associations with the most popular ones. And of course, it does what the Open With... dialog should do; allow you to easily open your different files with different applications.
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