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Shareaza takes over as Magnet protocol default app. Find no way to return it to uTorrent


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Hello all, 
I have had this problem and ignored it for a long time, but now have gone into hours troubleshooting.


  • uTorrent installed, working fine
  • Install Shareaza for P2P use, intending to keep using uTorrent for torrents. Specify that on install of SHA.
  • file extension remain associatiated to uT. OK. But Magnet protocol opens SHA.
  • uTorrent
    • Preferences, Associate with Torrent files button can be pressed, procedure runs and button is then disabled (presume uTorrent checks association done -can’t know if that should include Magnet protocol Does anyone know?l), Check association on startup is enabled and uT displays no msg on startup
  • Shareaza
    • has settings to handle Magnets unchecked.
  • Chrome settings:
    • Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols (recommended) checked, but opens Shareaza without asking.
    • See no way to Associate Magnet to an App and override Windows settings
  • Windows 10
    • persists Magnet protocol default app as Shareaza, cannot change since uTorrent is not available as an option. (I think this may be important)
    • there are registry entries right under "\Magnet" after Shareaza installation that point to Shareaza and perhaps override the shell open command, even if deleted, problem remains:

This is a problem many people ask about on various Shareaza and Windows forums. (Google) No answer found.  Has anybody  seen this before ir have any ideas?

My hypothesis:
After trying all conventional GUI procedures with none working I went looking over the registry for hours.

  • I find that there are entries related to Magnet protocol handlers where Shareaza is listed and uTorrent is not. (listed at the end, below)
  •  I find entries for Shareaza where protocols and extensions handled are listed where Magnet is one of them, but uTorrent has no equivalent registry entry

There have been changes in they way Windows handles file and protocol associations in trying to prevent badly-behaved Apps from hijacking associations. I believe there is a new, safer way implementes to set protocol default apps (using Magnet class in regsitry)  and an old way (Shelll/Open/Cmd entry. DDE?).  I believe Shareaza is using the new way and uTorrent the old one because of the registry entries I see. This could be why Shareaza always takes priority and uTorrent can set protocol association and check it on startup and not complain about anything being wrong - yet it is not seen as the default Magnet app.

I have tried:
- reinstalling uT to see if it overwritess settings but no
- hacking the registry to point to uT executable, but clicking Magent link on browser restores pointing to Shareaza.exe

So, any ideas? (Other than uninstalling Shareaza)


Reg entries found with  ''magnet''   
Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Magnet\shell\open\command set to uTorrent

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Magnet\shell\open\command set to uTorrent
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Magnet\Handlers\Shareaza set to shareaza.exe *** No entry for uTorrent
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Shareaza\Shareaza\Web has Magnet=0 and Torrent=0 seems ok.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\magnet\UserChoice ProgId=Shareaza *** There's supposed to be a user prompt but never saw it for Magnet Protocol
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Shareaza\Shareaza\Capabilities\UrlAssociations magnet ***

Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000\Software\Classes\Magnet\shell\open\command set to uTorrent
Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000\Software\Magnet\Handlers\Shareaza set to shareaza.exe *** No entry for uTorrent
Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000\Software\Shareaza\Shareaza\Web has Magnet=0 and Torrent=0 seems ok.

Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000_Classes\Magnet\shell\open\command set to uTorrent

Reg entries with uTorrent
Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\uTorrent\shell\open\command set to uTorrent

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\BitTorrent\uTorrent revision=xxxxx
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\uTorrent\shell\open\command set to uTorrent

Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000\Software\BitTorrent\uTorrent revision=xxxxx
Computer\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1812902653-1455824070-1745073054-1000\Software\Classes\uTorrent\shell\open\command set to uTorrent

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