Change "Opens With" in Windows XP

In Windows XP

Every file type has a program assigned to it for opening and viewing.

Sometimes when you install or launch new programs, certain file types will be reassigned to be opened with this new program. This usually happens during the setup process.

When viewing faxes as a .tif file, the default program that Windows XP has assigned is called "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer". If your faxes are not opening with this program, you may want to change the "opens with" program back to the default. Below are brief instructions on how to do so:

Control Panel

  • Click "Start"
    Click the Start button

    Click "Settings"
    Go to Settings

    Click "Control Panel"
    Click on Control Panel

If your Control Panel looks like the image below:
then click on "Switch to Classic View"
Switch to Classic View

Control Panel - Category View

When you are in Classic View, your Control Panel will look like the image below:

Control Panel - Classic View

Folder Options

  • Double click on "Folder Options"
    Open Folder Options
  • Click on the "File Types" tab

File Types

  • Scroll down to and highlight TIF
  • If the "Opens With:" program is something other than "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer", click on "Change"

Open With

  • Select "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer"
  • Click "OK"

The "Open With" window will close. After it does, click "Apply", then Click on "OK"


You have just told your computer to open all .tif files using the default image viewer on Windows XP. You should now be able to view your faxes easily, by double clicking on their icon.

Learn more about Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.