FileCure is a resourceful system utility developed by Paretologic Inc. to help users manage files with unknown extensions. The software will enable you to scan your computer for files with unknown or uncommon extensions that do not associate with any standard applications installed on your machine.
How does your computer accumulate unknown file extensions?
Your computer consists of a large number of files, some of which are created by the user and a large number of files are generated by your operating system to ensure that it functions well. Files are saved on your system through various channels such as email attachments, pen drives, removable drives, and program installers.
During the read and write process or simply during a file transfer, the file extension of these files may become corrupt or simply get erased. In the absence of a proper file extension, the Windows Operating System fails to associate the file with any available program and gives an error message asking you to map a relevant program manually. With no file extension at hand, you may find it daunting to hunt for the appropriate software to open the file. The information contained in the file, whether it is a document or an image, becomes inaccessible.
There are also times when files compressed through a ZIP or a RAR archive software fail to get uncompressed and retrieve the original files with their complete attachments. As in the case explained above, the file is rendered inaccessible with its data all locked up.
These files can be retrieved only by associating the right program that matches the original extension of the file, which is hidden or unknown in such situations.
There are also times when we receive files from various sources and fail to find an appropriate program to open it. For instance, imagine receiving a DivX file without knowing that it requires a specialized player, or even worse, without knowing that it is actually an encoded video file.
This is when you need a utility that helps you identify a plethora of files on your computer that are not associated with any programs and have unknown file extensions.
FileCure: Managing Files sans Extensions
FileCure comes to the rescue of users who are clueless about files that have no known extensions or associated programs to open or edit them. The program is compatible with almost all versions of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. It scans either selected areas or the complete file saving area on your disk and filters the files that do not have an associated program. On reviewing the list of unassociated files, you can specifically select files that can be corrected by the program and proceed with a single click.
FileCure requires some bare minimum resources that include 20 MB of disk space for the installation, Internet Explorer version 6 or above, Windows Administrator privileges, and an internet connection to receive product updates and definitions.
The program is designed to run even on the latest versions of Windows 7 (both 32, as well as 64 bit versions). It is also compatible with Windows Vista and Windows XP.
The product is also developed and maintained by a Microsoft Certified Partner, Paretologic Inc. This is an assurance that the product follows the necessary security and operational standards of the Microsoft Windows Operating system.
You can download a free trial version of FileCure from the official website of the product. The trial version identifies all the files on your system that need to be associated with a relevant program. The full version of the program provides enhanced features that completely fix all file extension related issues for all the files detected.
When we tried downloading the program, we found the download server response time was fast and the 2.18MB installer file downloaded in a matter of a few seconds.
While downloading, we used Mozilla Firefox that gave us the message shown in the screenshot, prompting us to save the installer file.
Installing the file was simple. After double-clicking the installer file that we downloaded, we were taken through a wizard that installed the program on our system with a few simple clicks.
Even a novice computer user with just a basic knowledge of Windows can safely install the program.
FileCure: The real product test
No matter what the product website may claim, it’s the real system test that brings out the functional strengths and drawbacks of the product, so we decided to do a good amount of testing on our own to find out how the product works.
The start screen
At first glance, the user interface is what caught our eye. We found the design to be user friendly and easy to navigate. There are seven options included as buttons on the left panel of the interface.
For power users, there is a detailed options menu available through a link on the top-right corner of the interface. The start screen allows us to do two things:
- First, it allows you to scan a particular file to determine its extension by simply dragging and dropping the file into the program start screen
- Second, it enables you to scan for all file extensions of unidentified files on your system.
Scanning the Files
We decided to test our 3 year old Windows Vista Dell laptop for all file types and clicked the large Scan button. The scan process screen followed, showing the progress of the scanning process and a list of extensions with unsupported extensions found on the system.
The scan process took a little longer than expected. The reason for that may have been because we selected the option of detailed scanning of all files on the system. The Vista laptop that we tested FileCure on was also an old installation of Windows that had a large number of files on it.
At the end of the scan, we saw a results screen similar to the one shown below:
It showed a list of file extensions that required proper associations with relevant programs.
Most of these extensions were unheard of and would have required alot of time and expertise to identify and match them with the right programs. The program also successfully detected a couple of PDF files whose extensions we had deleted to test the efficacy of the software.
A further click on a file extension revealed a list of recommended programs that could be used to open the file with ease. Interestingly, for a few of the detected file extensions for which there were applications already installed on the machine, FileCure could easily map these files with the existing programs.
Apart from detecting unidentified file extensions, FileCure is loaded with several other features as well. The most prominent ones are discussed below.
Simplifies the task of managing file associations
FileCure also allows us to change file associations through a single window. This may become necessary if we install the latest versions or better applications on our system for the same file extension.
Helps in keeping a tab on file association changes
The FileCure program provides a “Monitor” feature that allows you to check for any recent changes in file associations and reverse these changes if needed. To use this feature, click the Monitor button on the left panel of the interface.
Scheduler and other features
Another good feature is the “Ignore” option. This option allows you to exclude certain file extensions from the scan once you know that these extensions belong to certain mandatory system functions or programs.
Another feature that can prove helpful is the Scheduler function.
The Scheduler feature allows you to automatically run the program at predefined intervals. This can help you make the program a part of your periodic system maintenance.
One of the important features that we reviewed was the product support. Clicking the product support button takes you through a list of Troubleshooting Question and Answer series with a clear option to write to the product support team.
Apart from the mail support, we found that there is also chat support available between 9 am and 5pm, and for 9 am to 3pm by phone.
With a plethora of files being saved on our machines every day, it is impossible to keep tabs every file extension and the validity of each and every file on your system. This is when a system tool like FileCure may prove to be very resourceful. This tool will help you identify file extensions and manage file associations from a single interface. To put it simply, FileCure is a great program to have in your Windows operating system maintenance kit.