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Associate .mat Files with MATLAB

To associate a .mat extension type with MATLAB® R2010b or later, use the Microsoft® Windows® Default Programs control panel.

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel. The Control Panel is typically available from the Windows Start menu, or refer to your Windows documentation.

  2. From View by: Category, select Programs.

  3. Select Default Programs.

  4. Select Set your default programs. The Programs pane shows installed versions of MATLAB, R2010b and later.

  5. Select a MATLAB release, then Choose defaults for this program.

  6. Check the box next to the .mat entry.

  7. Select Save.

  8. Close all dialog boxes and menus, and exit the Control Panel.

If you want to use MATLAB R2010a or earlier, then choose the Associate a file type or protocol with a program options from the Default Programs menu instead. Scroll down the list of file types to the .mat entry. Select Change Program... and choose a version of MATLAB from the Recommended Programs list. Do not use the Browse button.

For information about using these options, see your Windows documentation.


By default, MATLAB associates the latest installed version to MATLAB file types. However, once you use the Windows Control Panel or the file manager to associate a MATLAB version to a file type, you must manually reassociate the type with each new installation of MATLAB. If you want to return to the default behavior, then uninstall every MATLAB that is manually associated to any MATLAB file type. Then reinstall the latest MATLAB release.