Set default file associations

In Windows 10, the way to set the a default program or a file association is done with a .xml file and a Group Policy setting, when the computer is joined a domain – otherwise you do it manually.


On a reference computer, setup the program and file association as needed and then export the result:

DISM /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:<path>\appAssoc.xml


Edit the .xml file to  contain the settings you wish to apply to your computer clients. It is not recommended that you use it “as-is”.

Below is my default appAssoc.xml file containing Outlook and Internet Explorer as default apps on a computer.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <Association Identifier=".eml" ProgId="Outlook.File.eml.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".hol" ProgId="Outlook.File.hol.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".ics" ProgId="Outlook.File.ics.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".msg" ProgId="Outlook.File.msg.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".oft" ProgId="Outlook.File.oft.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".pst" ProgId="Outlook.File.pst.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".vcf" ProgId="Outlook.File.vcf.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".vcs" ProgId="Outlook.File.vcs.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="feed" ProgId="Outlook.URL.feed.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="feeds" ProgId="Outlook.URL.feed.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="mailto" ProgId="Outlook.URL.mailto.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="stssync" ProgId="Outlook.URL.stssync.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="webcal" ProgId="Outlook.URL.webcal.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier="webcals" ProgId="Outlook.URL.webcal.15" ApplicationName="Outlook 2016" />
  <Association Identifier=".htm" ProgId="htmlfile" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".html" ProgId="htmlfile" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".mht" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.MHT" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".mhtml" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.MHT" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".partial" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.PARTIAL" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".svg" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.SVG" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".url" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.URL" ApplicationName="Internet Browser" />
  <Association Identifier=".website" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.WEBSITE" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".xht" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.XHT" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier=".xhtml" ProgId="IE.AssocFile.XHT" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier="ftp" ProgId="IE.FTP" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier="http" ProgId="IE.HTTP" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier="https" ProgId="IE.HTTPS" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier="mk" ProgId="IE.HTTP" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />
  <Association Identifier="res" ProgId="IE.HTTP" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />

If you wish  to add an Adobe product as default PDF reader, Adobe has created a ‘how to’ guide … Read it here


Now copy the .xml file to a network location where all your computers can get a hold on the file, eg. %NETLOGON%\ClientApps\appAssoc.xml

Group Policy

In an relevant Group Policy, go to [Computer Configuration], [Administrative Templates], [Windows Components], [File Explore] and select the [Set a default associations configuration file] setting. Enable it and hereafter enter the path and file name, of the location of the .xml file.

At next reboot the new program and file association should be effective.

Office Installer settings

This is a two-part job. First configure the setup installation package for the client computer and afterwards create a Group Policy with additional settings.


Run “setup.exe /admin” and change the following sections.


I accept the terms in the License Agreement = Selected
Display Level = None 
Completion notice = Not selected
Suppress modal = Selected
No Cancel = Selected


Office, First run
	Disable First Run Movie = Enabled
	Disable Office First Run on application boot = Enabled
Office, Privacy
	Disable Opt-In Wizard on first run = Enabled
Office, Miscellaneous
	Disable the Office Start screen for all Office applications = Enabled
	Suppress recommended settings dialog = Enabled

Additional content:

HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Common\General ShownFileFmtPrompt = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Registration AcceptAllEulas = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync SavePassword = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync TutorialFeatureEnabled = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync IsBasicTutorialSeenByUser = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync AutoRunWhenLogonToWindows = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync MinimizeWindowToNotificationArea = DWORD 1
HKCU Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Lync AutoOpenMainWindowWhenStartup = DWORD 1

Group Policy

Launch ‘Group Policy Management’ or other Group Policy Management tool.

User, Microsoft Office\First Run
	Disable First Run Movie	= Enabled
	Disable Office First Run on application boot = Enabled
User, Microsoft Office \Microsoft Save As PDF and XPS add-ins
	Disable Microsoft Save As PDF and XPS add-ins = Enabled, Disable XPS
User, Microsoft Office\Miscellaneous
	Block signing into Office = OrgID Only
	Disable the Office Start screen for all Office applications = Enabled
	Suppress recommended settings dialog = Enabled
	Show OneDrive Sign In = Disabled
User, Microsoft Office\Privacy\Trust Center
	Automatically receive small updates to improve reliability = Disabled
	Disable Opt-in Wizard on first run = Enabled
	Enable Customer Experience Improvement Program = Disabled
	Send Office Feedback = Disabled
User, Microsoft Office\Subscription Activationshow
	Automatically activate Office with federated organization credentials = Enabled
	Do not show "Manage Account" link for subscription licenses = Enabled