Changing Default File Associations in Windows 10 via GPO

In this text, we are going to look on easy methods to handle default file affiliation on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012R2. As an instance, I’ll present you easy methods to set a default browser app to open HTML recordsdata, import these settings into an XML file, and deploy a file affiliation settings to different computer systems manually or utilizing Group Policy (GPO).

The most important distinction between Windows 10 and former Windows variations is that now you may’t handle file affiliation settings by the Registry or the “Open With” function of the Group Policy Preferences. But there was a brand new alternative to export the present file affiliation settings from the “reference” laptop to the XML file and apply this file on different computer systems. You can even export a configured file associations to a Windows picture that’s deployed to purchasers in your community (manually, via WDS or SCCM).

How to Set or Change Default Apps on Windows 10?

Suppose you wish to use the Firefox browser to open .HTML recordsdata on all area computer systems (you wish to affiliate this file extension with the app).

To do that, you want a reference laptop with Windows 10 (in this instance, the present construct 1909 is used) and the put in Firefox browser. To manually create a mapping between a file extension and a program, open the Settings -> Default Apps and click on the “Choose default apps by file sort” button.

Find the .HTML file in the checklist of file extensions and use the “Choose a default” button to alter the default program to open html recordsdata from Microsoft Edge to Firefox.

You can robotically assign a particular app with the file extension for which it’s registered. To do that, choose Set default by apps in the Default Apps part, discover your program in the checklist and click on the Manage button.

The subsequent display screen accommodates a listing of file varieties supported by the applying. Select the file extensions that you just wish to open with Firefox.

In older Windows 10 builds and in Windows Server 2016, you may assign default app associations by the traditional Control Panel. Go to the Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Set Default Program. Find Firefox in the checklist of packages and click on “Set this program as default”. Thus, Firefox will probably be assigned as a default program to open all supported file varieties.

If you could choose particular file extensions, click on Choose defaults for this program and verify the specified file extensions.

You can verify the present associations for the recordsdata with the .html extension in the Programs -> Default Programs -> Set Association part of the Control Panel.

Exporting File Associations on Windows 10 to the XML file

You can export the present configuration of file associations to the XML file utilizing DISM:

Dism.exe /on-line /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:C:PSDefaultAssoc.xml

The command will save all this system associations you will have configured in your consumer profile to the XML file. You can open the DefaultAssoc.xml file in any textual content editor, and see the total checklist of file associations exported. If you could use solely part of the associations from this checklist (in order to not override the prevailing consumer settings), you may manually edit the XML file. Leave solely the traces with the file extensions you want. For instance, we’ll depart the next traces for HTM and HTML extensions:

Importing Default App Associations on Windows 10

The ensuing XML file may be imported right into a Windows 10 on one other computer systems utilizing DISM device:

Dism.exe /Online /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:C:PSDefaultAssoc.xml

Important. These settings to map file extensions to apps will probably be utilized solely to new consumer profiles throughout the first logon.

If you manually edited the XML file and imported it by DISM, in some Windows 10 builds chances are you’ll encounter a number of errors “App default reset notification” at first log in. Microsoft doesn’t advocate manually modifying this XML file.

You can even import these settings to the offline Windows picture in the WIM file. First it’s important to mount the picture:

Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:mntimagesinstall.wim /MountDir:C:mntoffline

And then import the XML file:

Dism.exe /Image:C:mntoffline /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:Server1ShareDefaultAssoc.xml

Tip. The present settings of file associations in the offline Windows picture may be obtained utilizing this command:

Dism.exe /Image:C:mntoffline /Get-DefaultAppAssociations

Set a Default File Associations with Group Policy

Windows 10/eight.1 launched a brand new Group Policy (GPO) choice that lets you apply an xml file with file affiliation settings to all present customers on a pc.

This coverage named Set a default associations configuration file is positioned beneath Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components ->File Explorer.

Enable the coverage and specify the UNC path to your XML file. It may be positioned on a shared community folder, SYSVOL listing on the area controller or pre-copied to the computer systems utilizing GPP or SCCM.

The new file affiliation settings will probably be utilized to all customers of the pc after the subsequent login.

The path to the XML file with the brand new file affiliation settings is contained in the DefaultAssociationsConfiguration registry parameter beneath the important thing HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsSystem.

Since Windows 10 tracks modifications in the file affiliation settings, the primary time you attempt to open an HTML file, a window might seem confirming that Firefox is used because the default program to open this file sort (the request seems solely as soon as). Such a request will at all times seem after putting in a brand new software, that’s registered to open an current file sort or protocol. You can disguise these notification by enabling the coverage “Do not present the ‘new software put in’ notification” in the identical GPO part.

When working in Windows, a consumer can reassign these file associations. However, throughout the subsequent logon, consumer settings of file associations will probably be overwritten by the GPO with the settings from the XML file.

Changing File Association on Windows 10 via Registry

As we mentioned above, in Windows 10 the way in which to set file affiliation choices has modified. In the earlier part, we confirmed you easy methods to configure the affiliation for the .html file sort with a Firefox browser by an XML file and Group Policy. Now let’s see the way it seems in the Windows 10 registry.

Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion ExplorerFileExts.htmlUserChoice. This registry key accommodates the affiliation settings for the html file extension. Please observe the next registry parameters:

  • ProgId – that is the identifier of the registered app for opening this file sort. This app is specified in the XML file. If an extended identifier is specified as an alternative of the applying identify, then the file affiliation with the fashionable UWP (Metro-style) software is configured.
  • Hash – a hash worth that’s robotically generated to validate matching the kind of recordsdata with this system. The presence of this hash ensures that it’s the consumer or administrator (by the GPO) has configured this file mapping. This safety mechanism is required to guard customers from malicious packages that may change file associations with out consumer’s approval.

If you attempt to manually change the ProgId registry worth and affiliate one other program, the Hash worth will stop to be legitimate. In this case, Windows 10 will robotically reset the file affiliation settings to the default state. In this case, the consumer will see a notification:

An app default was reset.
An app induced an issue with the default app setting for .html recordsdata, so it was reset to Microsoft Edge.

Accordingly, in Windows 10/Windows Server 2016 you gained’t have the ability to configure file mapping by the registry, because it labored in Windows 7/Windows Server 2008R2.

You can discover on the Web the unofficial SetUserFTA.exe instruments, which lets you calculate the hash and map the precise file extension to program 21by the registry.

How to Reset File Associations in Windows 10?

Using the next command you may reset the settings of file associations imported earlier:

Dism.exe /Online /Remove-DefaultAppAssociations

After working this command, all new customers will log be logged with the default file affiliation (the reset has no impact on the prevailing consumer profiles).

In order to reset the file associations manually configured by the consumer to the default ones, you could click on on the Reset button in the Settings -> Apps -> Default Applications.

In this case, all file associations will return to the state of unpolluted Windows 10 set up.

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