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Server 2012 R2 Default Programs GPO

    Question

  • As we all know, once Server 2012 came around it was no longer simple to configure user's default programs via GPO. With earlier versions we could set up a GPO that applies to a user, and uses GP preferences to set their default programs. With 2012 we could no longer do this, we had to instead use default associations configuration file.

    We have some 2012 R2 terminal servers with Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro installed.

    Acrobat is only licensed for certain users.

    There is a GPO in place that uses 'Computer configuration\Admin templates\Windows component\File Explorer\Set a default associations file' that is applied to the RDS servers OU, which sets the default PDF program to be Adobe Reader.

    This is explained in the article below:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/mrmlcgn/archive/2013/02/26/windows-8-associate-a-file-type-or-protocol-wi...

    The problem is this is a computer wide configuration. I need to force some users to have Acrobat as their default PDF program instead of reader. I am stumped on how to accomplish this. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 3:10 PM

Answers

  • You still can deploy this by using GPP if you know the exact reg file.

    We handled a case a couple of days back which is about making IE as default browser. We made it by editing the registry key below:
     
    Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    Key path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.htm\UserChoice
    Value name: Progid
    Value type: REG_SZ
    Value data: IE.AssocFile.HTM (This value will make IE as the default broswer for .html)
     
    So I guess we can use the same approach to configure Acrobat as the default program for .pdf files. Then deploy the registry via GPP and apply it only to specific users:
     
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.pdf\UserChoice\Progid
     
    I have no idea what you should type as the value of this key for Acrobat, probably ask in the dedicated Adobe forum for confirmation.
     
    Hope this helps.
     

    Regards,

    Ethan Hua


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

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015 6:55 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You still can deploy this by using GPP if you know the exact reg file.
    Monday, December 7, 2015 8:42 AM
  • You still can deploy this by using GPP if you know the exact reg file.

    We handled a case a couple of days back which is about making IE as default browser. We made it by editing the registry key below:
     
    Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    Key path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.htm\UserChoice
    Value name: Progid
    Value type: REG_SZ
    Value data: IE.AssocFile.HTM (This value will make IE as the default broswer for .html)
     
    So I guess we can use the same approach to configure Acrobat as the default program for .pdf files. Then deploy the registry via GPP and apply it only to specific users:
     
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.pdf\UserChoice\Progid
     
    I have no idea what you should type as the value of this key for Acrobat, probably ask in the dedicated Adobe forum for confirmation.
     
    Hope this helps.
     

    Regards,

    Ethan Hua


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

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015 6:55 AM
    Moderator