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Windows Context Menu Image Edit Change Default to Picasa

Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 03:57:05 PM CST by David Yee [] [read 6500 times]

Tips: Windows-world

Lately I have been using Google's Picasa 3.9 quite a bit to edit/enhance photos, add captions, and other functions on my Windows 8.1 PC. But the thing is, in order to work on a specific picture file (e.g. with the .jpg extension) in the editor, I have to double-click on it, which opens it in Picasa Photo Viewer, then right-click and pick Edit.

If I right-click on an image file in Explorer, I see that in the Context Menu that there is an Edit option/function. But selecting it always opened the file in Paint (mspaint.exe), which is the default Windows elementary graphics editor (you can't even call it a photo editor). I also took a look and noticed on my Windows XP virtual machine, it has the same behavior by default.

All it takes, however, to fix this Photo Editor file association issue is a simple edit in the registry.

  1. Click Windows Start button, Pick Run (or if you are not using classic Start Menu tool, simply press the [Windows key] + R

  2. Type in "regedit" without the quotes

  3. The User Account Control (UAC) prompt may appear- click Yes

  4. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command

  5. Double click on "(Default)" on the right side of the window, and change the contents from:

    "%systemroot%\system32\mspaint.exe" "%1"


    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Picasa3\Picasa3.exe" "%1"

    If you prefer a different program, you can always put that in here at this point as well.

  6. Close the Registry Editor, and now test things out by bringing up the Context Menu with a right-click on a pic and pick Edit, and voila, the image is now loaded in the Picasa Editor (not the viewer). Note that if you have a lot of pictures inside the folder where the file is located, you might have to wait a bit for the program to scan through all of the pictures.

Even though I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 (PSE), I still prefer to use the excellent (and free) Picasa software most of the time because of its speed and ease of use. PSE has more features, but sometimes I just want to do a quick modification of a photo, so implementing this change has helped speed up my workflow. I hope it has too for those of you looking to quickly right-click on an image file in Windows Explorer, pick Edit, and quickly bring the photo up in Picasa (or any other software you like).

Please rate this article or post a brief review of Windows Context Menu Image Edit Change Default to Picasa or comment on benchmark/performance, features, availability, price or anything else regarding Windows Context Menu Image Edit Change Default to Picasa. Thanks!

Windows Context Menu Image Edit Change Default To Picasa Rating: 2.9/5 (27 votes cast)

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