File Type

A File Type represents a file type registration or unregistration. It is used to associate file types and extensions with applications that can open them. A File Type object contains subordinate File Extension and Shell Verb objects that define the associated file extensions and the possible actions, respectively. Registration or unregistration of a file type is controlled by its component and its file extensions and shell verbs.

Situation InstallMate
Not linked to a component The file type is registered if any of its extensions or verbs are registered.
Linked to a component The file type is registered if its component is installed, or if any of its extensions or verbs are registered.

InstallMate allows you to register a file type either implicitly, if one of its dependents is registered, or explicitly, for example if it doesn't have any dependents. See File types for more information.

Tip: Many applications will register their own file types if you start them with the /RegServer command line option. If your application supports that option, you might find it more convenient to register the application by specifying Run with /RegServer in the file's Registration attribute. In that case, you do not need to register its file types, file extensions, and shell verbs separately.


The following attributes and options are available.

Attribute Description

Enter the ProgID of the file type or the name of the URL protocol (see note). The ProgID is the symbolic name of the file type, usually in the format ProductName.FileType.Version. It is used to uniquely identify (this version of) the file type. The ProgID may be up to 39 characters long, may not contain punctuation except for the period ('.'), and must not start with a digit. Some examples are:


This format is a convention rather than a strict requirement and other formats are used as well. However, the ProgID must be unique across all file types that may be a registered on a computer, because it is used as a registry key name when the file type is registered.

Note: if you register the File Type as a protocol by checking the URL Protocol option (see later), then you should enter the protocol here, for example https

Unversioned ID

Enter the unversioned ProgID of the type, or leave empty if the file type only has one ProgID. The unversioned ProgID is typically used to provide a version-independent identifier for the file type; it contains a reference to the version-specific ProgID that defines the actual file type information.

The Unversioned ProgID typically uses the format ProductName.FileType, i.e., the ProgID minus the version number. You should only define the Unversioned field if the ProgID field contains the ProgID of the current version of the file type; for older versions of the ProgID, you should leave Unversioned empty.

Display name

Enter the user-visible name of the file type. This name is used by the Windows shell to refer to the file type, for example in the Type column in Windows Explorer.

URL Protocol

Check this box to register the File Type as a URL Protocol instead of a regular type. This adds an empty "URL Protocol" REG_SZ value to the file type registration as per Windows convention.

Note: if you register the File Type as a protocol, then you should manually remove any File Extensions from the type because these are rarely used for a protocol handler. The Shell Verbs are used normally.


Click this button to open the Select Icon dialog box that allows you to specify an icon for the file type. If you don't specify an icon, the file type will use a generic icon provided by Windows.

Reset icon

Click this box to remove the file type icon and revert to the generic icon.

Note: InstallMate will display the "No icon" icon if no icon is associated with the file type.

Related topics

File types, Working with attribute panes