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PDF and MS Office documents are shown or saved as auto_file. Problems with opening file using different applications.

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition


PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc documents are saved or shown as pdf_auto_file, doc_auto_file, xls_auto_file, docx_auto_file, xlsx_auto_file, ppt_auto_file. No default application is assigned to open them.

Also, they may be shown as PDF file, DOC file, XLS file, PPT file instead of Adobe Acrobat Document, Microsoft Word Document, Microsoft Excel Document, Microsoft PowerPoint Document.


This issue may happen when the file type was registered in Windows before the default application (the last one) for this file was installed. This may happen due to sharing applications from the Mac side.


  1. Please open Registry Editor (StartRun... → type regedit → click OK )
  2. In the Registry Editor please expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and find appropriate file extension and click it. For example, for PDF files - .pdf
  3. In the right pane right-clcik on (Deafult) and select Delete. The value pdf_auto_file will go away.

  1. Close Registry Editor
  2. Go to StartControl PanelFolder Options. Open tab File Types.
  3. Find PDF extension in the list. Filetype will be either pdf_auto_file or PDF File. The default file type (Adobe Acrobat Document) is mentioned below. Click Restore button.

  1. Make sure that the default application (Adobe Reader) is defined for this file extension. Now all files should be shown correctly.

  1. Repeat the same for all other needed file types (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .docx, .xlsx, .pptx)

The Windows Vista tool you use to change file associations in located in the Control Panel under the Default Programs icon:

Once on the Default Programs screen you have two choices for changing file associations:

  1. Set your default programs
  2. Associate a file type or protocol with a program

The first selection on the Default Programs screen is Set Your Default Programs. On this screen of the tool, you can select a program and either give it complete control as the default program for all file extensions it can handle or choose the file extensions you want individually.

Clicking the Choose Defaults For This Program option on the Set Default Programs screen shows you a list of potential file extensions that can be associated with the chosen program. From here, you can check additional file extensions you would like Windows Vista to associate with the program.

The second selection on the Default Programs screen is Associate A File Type Or Protocol With A Program. On this screen of the tool, you get a very long list of file extensions, including a description and the name of their associated program if it is known. To modify the program associated with a particular extension, you select the extension and click the Change Program button.

In the example shown below, we have chosen the .inf extension, which is currently associated with Notepad. From this screen, we can choose to change the association to another available program.

If another viable program is not listed on the screen above, you can browse your system for programs.

Note: that it is generally not a good idea to associate a file extension with a program that is not capable of reading or otherwise acting on it.

Once your file extensions are selected, you click Save and then OK to apply your changes to Windows Vista.

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