Win 8.1 / Server 2012R2: Setting User specific File Associating through GPO RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have some issues associating the default application for specific users for specific file extentions.

    I've used registry imports in the times before GPO Preferences and have been using GPO Preferences for Vista/7/2008/2008R2 environments.

    With Win 8.1/2012R2 (and in some extend Win8/2012) I have read I should use the "Default Associations Configuration File" GPO option together with DISM. So, I followed these steps:

    • Export current settings using: DISM /online /export-defaultappassociations:C:\Windows\System32\CustomAppAssoc.xml
    • I've updated the file and imported it back: DISM /online /import-defaultappassociations:C:\Windows\System32\CustomAppAssoc.xml (*)
    • Seeing this didn't work yet, I've also setup the GPO and pointed it to my C:\Windows\System32\CustomAppAssoc.xml
    • I've removed the profile of my test-account and logged in

    (*) (To my knowledge this these steps only update the OEMDefaultAssociations.xml-file)Unfortunatly the changes I made, that should have assigned .xml to Microsoft Excel did not work.

    My file looks like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
       <Association Identifier=".xml" ProgId="Applications\EXCEL.EXE" ApplicationName="Excel (desktop)" />

    A few issues I have:

    • This method does not allow seem to enforce a default app; only add it to the list of available/suggested apps.
    • This method does not allow me to associate different apps for different users

    Any tips would be more than appriciated.

    Kind regards,

    Friday, March 7, 2014 5:50 AM

All replies

  • You can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to change the default programs associated with a file name extension.

    1.Deploy your Windows image to a test computer.

    2 Log into Windows and use Control Panel to configure your default application associations.

    3.You can export the default application associations that you have configured to an XML file on a network share or USB drive. For example, at a command prompt type the following command:

    Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:\\Server\Share\AppAssoc.xml

    4.Use GP server to enable the following group policy to modify the default Associations on the client machine.

    Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>File explorer>Set a default associations configuration file.

    Regarding how to export or Import Default Application Associations,please refer to the following article:

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:35 AM
  • Hi Mr. Bigworlds,

    Uhm, isn't this what I described in my post as the steps I followed?

    Thing is, it's still only a baseline and does not force certain Filetype associations.
    We need to force this based on the user and not as a computer baseline.

    If I have misread your reply; I apologize in advance.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:49 AM
  • I would also like to know how i can do this based on the user not the computer?

    Jed Parkes - MCITP - Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator

    Thursday, July 10, 2014 5:48 AM
  • You can't do it - it's all Computer settings now.

    This may be a way around it, but it's really annoying

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 11:36 PM