How to use Open With for multiple files on Windows 10

The file context menu in Windows 10 has a helpful option called ‘Open With’. This option allows users to select any app to open a file with. 

If you’d like to open a file with an app that isn’t set as its default app, you can use the Open With option to do. It’s easier than opening the app and then opening the file in it.

The one shortcoming the Open With option has is that it disappears if you select multiple files. While you can select multiple files and tap the Enter key to open them all in the default app, the same doesn’t work with the Open With option.

Open With for multiple files

Open With doesn’t work with multiple files so, in order to use it to open multiple files with the same app, you’re going to have to use a workaround.

We’re going to use a shortcut and a command line switch, as well as the Send To option in the context menu to accomplish this.

Create shortcut to app

The first step is to create and modify a shortcut to the app you want to open multiple files in.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Go to the Apps’ list.
  3. Look for the app and drag & drop its tile on to the desktop to create a shortcut.
  4. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  5. Go to the Shortcut tab.
  6. In the target field, enter this switch at the end of the path /a.
  7. Click Apply.

how to use open with for multiple files on windows 10 How to use Open With for multiple files on Windows 10

Add shortcut to Send to list

Now that the shortcut has been created and modified to open files, you need the app to appear in the Send to menu’s sub-menu.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste the following in the location bar and tap Enter.
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
  1. Move the shortcut that you created in the previous step to the SendTo folder.

how to use open with for multiple files on windows 10 1 How to use Open With for multiple files on Windows 10

Use Open with for multiple files

Now that everything is all set up, you can use the Send To option to open multiple files with the same app.

  1. Select multiple files (of the same type).
  2. Right-click any one of the files.
  3. Select Send to from the context menu.
  4. Select the app you want to open the files in.

how to use open with for multiple files on windows 10 2 How to use Open With for multiple files on Windows 10

Limitations

This trick works for most apps but not all apps. To check if it will work for the app you want to use, create a shortcut for the app. Drag & drop a single file onto the shortcut. If the file opens in the app, this trick will work. If the app opens, but the file is not loaded, this trick will not work.

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