Making IE the default browser in Windows 10 during OSD

I have had this request a couple of times now, on how to make Internet Explorer the default browser in Windows 10. I think Microsoft Edge is and will be a great browser and the most secure browser out there but in some scenarios Internet Explorer is still required to be the default browser.

Here is how to export the associations from one Windows 10 computer and then import them during OS deployment on the target computer which is the way to do it. It exports all file associations so it can be used for 3rd party applications as well.

To export the file associations from a computer running Windows 10 do the following.

  1. Log on to the computer as a user that is local administrator and open Settings and then System
  2. Under Default Apps mark the Web Browser and click Microsoft Edge, then you get an option on which browser to use instead, select Internet Explorer
    DefaultIE1
  3. Then open and Command Prompt with Run as administrator.
  4. In the command prompt type, the following command to export the file associations.
    C:\WINDOWS\system32>Dism.exe /online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\Windows\Temp\DefaultApps.xml
    DefaultIE2
  5. In the C:\Windows\Temp we now have a file with the default associations.
    DefaultIE3

To import the file associations during OS deployment when deploying Windows 10 the following steps are needed. The easiest way is to use a .cmd file and the “%~dp0” variable that gives us the path to the folder the .cmd file is executed from.

  1. Create a folder in your source folder structure that can be used as a package source for the Default Apps Association package.
  2. Copy the DefaultApps.xml file we just created to that folder
  3. Create a new file in the folder called DefaultApps.cmd with the following content
    Dism.exe /online /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:%~dp0Defaultapps.xml
  4. Then we have the following files in that folder
    DefaultIE4
  5. Create a Package in Configuration Manager and use the folder created as the source folder. Do not create a program. By using Run Command line, it is easier to add more .xml files so that we can import different files based on different roles or purpose for the target computer.
  6. In your OS deployment Task Sequence create a new “Run Command Line” step somewhere after the “Setup Windows and Configuration Manager” step.
    DefaultIE5
  7. Then you are ready to test deploy a Computer and test the updated Default Associations

This procedure is the same as it was for Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 and can be applied to Adobe Reader as well for instance or other 3rd party applications as well.

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