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Can't open PLN files with Archicad 23 by double-clicking on Windows

Boldizsar Vermes

Affected versions: Archicad 23 | Severity: workaround applicable | ID: 267213, 267874


After installing Archicad 23 on Windows, the file types are not associated with it by default. Double-clicking on them shows no compatible apps to open or the files are launched with previously installed Archicad versions.


Because of an issue within the installation process Archicad 23 is not registered in the Registry as a compatible application for our file types. As a result of this, Archicad 23 is not recognized by the system as a new program that could open projects and so it cannot be set as the default one or be added to the application list of the Open with Lists.


Search for an Archicad project on your computer, right-click on it and open its Properties dialog. On the General tab click on the Change button in the line of the Opens with: to open the list of the apps that can be chosen to be the default for this file type. If Archicad 23 is not in the list, click on More apps, scroll down and choose Look for another app on this PC option. Locate and select Archicad.exe from Archicad 23’s installation folder and click Open to get back to the Properties dialog. Click on OK here to submit the changes. This has to be done with all of the file types that you want to be associated with Archicad.

If the above-described way doesn’t work on your computer, you will need an external application to make the required modifications in the Registry. An application that can surely do this which is why we suggest it is the Defaults Programs Editor available from here. Download, decompress and start it, then follow these steps:

  1. Select File Type Settings
  2. Select Change Open with programs at the bottom of the dialog.
  3. Select extensions to change—multi-select allowed. You can use the Search field to find file types with Archicad in their name.
  4. Delete all Archicad's registered to the selected extensions if there are any.
  5. Click on Add… button and browse for Archicad Starter.exe in the Archicad installation folder.
  6. Select Save to Registry option from the dropdown by clicking the down arrow to the right of the Save Open with List button.
  7. After successfully associating Archicad 23 for the selected file types, close the application.

Next time you will double-click on a file that’s extension matches one of the edited file types, Windows will ask How do you want to open this file? and then you will be able to set Archicad 23 as the default application. This setting is user-related that’s why it has to be selected here and cannot be saved as a system-wide setting.


The defect causing the missing file type associations during the installation has been fixed in Archicad 23 Update 40xx.

If you needed to follow the second workaround detailed above, you need to select the default application again after installing an Update that contains a fix for this issue. It can happen that Archicad logo is missing from this dialog but this does not affect your selection or later use of the application.

If you have any trouble with this topic or the workaround does not solve your issue, please contact your local GRAPHISOFT support representative for further support.

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