Set default browser

Configuring the default browser, default search engine, and default homepage will help your users discover Microsoft Search capabilities, encourage more usage, and provide a smoother experience.

To set the default browser for your organization, follow the steps below.

Windows 8 and above

To set Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as the default browser, follow these steps:

Create default associations file

  1. Open an administrative PowerShell console.

  2. New-Item -Path "\\$env:USERDOMAIN\SYSVOL\$env:USERDNSDOMAIN" -Type Directory -Name "Settings"

  3. $SettingsPath="\\$env:USERDOMAIN\SYSVOL\$env:USERDNSDOMAIN\Settings"

  4. Start-Process Dism.exe -PassThru "/Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:$SettingsPath\AppAssoc.xml"

These steps try and create the default associations file in the SYSVOL folder of the domain controller.

Add or edit the default associations file

  1. Notepad "$SettingsPath\AppAssoc.xml"

  2. Edit the following entries (.htm, .html, http, https), and remove other entries if they're not needed.

  • Microsoft Edge

    <Association Identifier=".htm" ProgId="AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9" ApplicationName="Microsoft Edge" />

    <Association Identifier=".html" ProgId="AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9" ApplicationName="Microsoft Edge" />

    <Association Identifier="http" ProgId="AppXq0fevzme2pys62n3e0fbqa7peapykr8v" ApplicationName="Microsoft Edge" />

  • Internet Explorer

    <Association Identifier=".htm" ProgId="htmlfile" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />

    <Association Identifier=".html" ProgId="htmlfile" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />

    <Association Identifier="http" ProgId="IE.HTTP" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />

    <Association Identifier="https" ProgId="IE.HTTPS" ApplicationName="Internet Explorer" />

  1. Open Group Policy Management Console (gpmc.msc) and switch to editing any existing policy or creating a new one.

  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer

  3. Double-click Set a default associations configuration file, set it to Enabled, and enter the path to AppAssoc.xml (for example %USERDOMAIN%\SYSVOL%USERDNSDOMAIN%\Settings\AppAssoc.xml)

  4. Enforce the resultant GPO by linking it to the appropriate domain.

Users will be able to change the browser after this policy is set.

Windows 7

  1. Configure the local machine that will be used to set the GPO.

  2. Open Control Panel\Programs\Default Programs\Set Default Programs and set Internet Explorer as the default.

  3. Open Group Policy Management Console (gpmc.msc) and switch to editing any existing policy or creating a new one.

  4. Navigate to <Computer/User> Configuration\Policies\Preferences\Windows Settings.

  5. Right-click on Registry\New and select Registry Wizard.

  6. From the Registry Browser window, select Local Computer and click Next.

  7. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https and select the ProgId value. Make sure the value looks like the one below:

    Select ProgID value in Edit String

  8. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https and select the ProgId value. Make sure that the value looks like the one below:

    Select ProgId for HTTPS in Edit String

  9. Enforce the resultant GPO by linking it to the appropriate domain.

Users will be able to change the browser after this policy is set.