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GPO to change default Windows 10 apps from Store to Desktop apps?

    Question

  • We have a GPO to disable opening Store apps, but the default apps remain store apps despite this.  For example, when the user clicks on an audio file attachment such as to play their voicemail messages received in Outlook, Windows 10 attempts to open the Groove music apps to play the file and the users then gets a message pop up saying this has been blocked by your administrator.

    How can we change all the app defaults to Desktop apps via GPO?

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:40 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    According to my understanding, you want to change the default APP when you open one kind of file, is that is the case, then you can try to use group policy preference to create Open With Item under User Configuration, Preferences, Control Panel Settings, Folder Options.

    For the detailed information, please refer to the following Microsoft TechNet article:

    Configure an Open With Item

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732272.aspx

    In addition, please also go through the article below:

    How to use group policy to change open with file associations

    http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2011/09/how-to-use-group-policy-to-change-open-with-file-associations/

    Regards,

    Yan Li


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Friday, February 12, 2016 8:05 AM
    Moderator
  • It is not for one kind of file. 

    Since all the store apps will be disabled, we need to ensure that no file types default to store apps.  No types of audio files, video file, image files, pdf files etc should ever default to the built-in universal apps since those apps will be disabled. 

    I have found that disabling store apps from running doesn't change the default app association.  So, when you have configured a group policy to disable store apps, if the users tries to open a photo or audio file, instead of that file opening in a desktop app such as Windows Media Player or the desktop photo viewer, it still attempts to open in the store app and a warning pops up saying the application is blocked.


    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 2:10 PM
  • Hello,

    Sorry for the late reply, disabling store apps from running doesn't change the default app association.

    Please use group policy to change open with file associations for multi kinds of files according to your needs.

    There is no other direct way to change this in group policy as far as I know.

    Regards,

    Yan Li


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, February 26, 2016 2:12 AM
    Moderator
  • > Please use group policy to change open with file associations for multi
    > kinds of files according to your needs.
     
    You cannot change _existing_ file associations in Win8 and above anymore
    through GPO - there are registry ACLs in place that do not allow the
    SYSTEM account to write them.
     
    Only working solution is a startup script that uses setacl to take
    ownership of them and then grant SYSTEM write access :(
     
    Friday, February 26, 2016 10:34 AM
  • So, if we uninstall the store apps like Groove Music and Reader, will the file associations automatically move to desktop apps such as Windows Media Player and Adobe Reader?

    Is there a registry setting or GPO that will change the default browser in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise to Internet Explorer 11 since Edge cannot be uninstalled?

    Friday, February 26, 2016 2:47 PM
  • Hello,

    You can use the Group Policy setting, Set a default associations configuration file, to set the default browser for your company devices running Windows 10.

    More details:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt269907.aspx

    Regards,

    Yan Li


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Monday, February 29, 2016 1:34 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    You can use the Group Policy setting, Set a default associations configuration file, to set the default browser for your company devices running Windows 10.

    More details:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt269907.aspx

    Regards,

    Yan Li


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    That seems to conflict with what Martin Binder said about in the earlier reply not being able to change file associations in Windows 8 and above.

    Not sure which is correct now.

    Monday, February 29, 2016 2:23 AM
  • Yan Li, in regards to the link you posted:
    What about those of us that need different associations depending on what application is installed.

    Example:
    Lets say you have a domain, some computers have Foxit Phantom, some have Adobe Acrobat, and some have Adobe Reader.
    If they have Foxit or Acrobat, they may or may not have a version of Reader installed, and if they do, it may be Reader XI, Reader 2015, or Reader DC

    How do propose I handle different versions, since from an AD perspective I cannot use targeting for this, and I cannot use the GP objects that allow targeting...
    I cannot create an alias of the computers in an OU, Quite the dilemma...

    Could I install the same version of Reader on each computer, yes, but why should I?  Why should I solve one problem only to create a different problem?  Either way the end user still cannot just double click on a PDF and edit the document.
    How would you expect it to be handled if there were thousands of desktops with the same problem I described?

    I though I had a solution, I managed to put together a powershell script that determined what to do based on the installed app version, it would import the correct xml file using DISM (same net result as using Group Policy from what I understand?), however it requires the end user to be a local administrator.  Thats just not gonna happen.  
    Using your computer as an administrator day in and day out is just asking for trouble, and as a consultant, setting up client computers that way is setting my company up for a lawsuit if the customer gets hit by malware since I "could have minimized the damage" if I had made them all standard users.

    Also, if I did use DISM import the file (as an elevated user), that would import the settings under the elevated users profile, not the local profile, correct?

    So, please tell me you have an answer...

    Targeting would be great, but can't seem to do it there in GP, and where you can use targeting, Windows 10 won't allow you to set default apps that way...

    From a security standpoint, I appreciate what your trying to do, its a great idea.
    However not being able to make the required changes due to your incessant need to change the default handler for PDF files back to Edge, well, that presents a problem...


    • Edited by Jamie Bah Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:41 PM include moderators name since they posted the link.
    Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:15 PM