How to Remove FILExt or Get the Program CKNOW.COM

[Note: This article is left for historical purposes. On 15 March 2007, Microsoft changed how their Website works and it now refers you to a general search instead of FILExt directly.]

The simple answer is: you can't remove FILExt. FILExt is a Website and exists as part of the World Wide Web; it is NOT in your computer. Likewise, CKNOW.COM is a Website and not a program. The FILExt listings used to reside on the CKNOW.COM site.

OK, so what happened that made me think FILExt is on my system?

When you attempt to open a file that Windows XP has no associated program for it pops up a dialog asking you to pick a program to open the file or gives you the option of searching the Internet for such a program.

Windows Can't Open

If you select the "Search the Internet" option then you are taken to a Microsoft Web page that suggests you come to the FILExt site to do the searching (some of the Microsoft pages refer to the listing as CKNOW.COM even though the link points to FILExt). When you click on that link you are taken to the FILExt Website where you can search for the particular extension used by the file you attempted to open (it's listed in the Windows dialog; see the above picture).

NONE of this is on or in your computer except the initial dialog which is part of the Windows XP operating system and cannot be removed.

If you do not wish to use the FILExt site to search for file extension associations all you have to do is NOT click on the various links that take you there. It's entirely under your control. If you do not wish the Microsoft XP prompt to come up then don't click on files you know don't have a program associated with them. You can tell from the icon -- a small piece of paper with the upper right edge folded up and a small picture of a Windows Explorer window with icons in the middle of that page. Like this...

Unknown association icon

We'll be sad to see you leave but the choice is yours now that you know what's happening.


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