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Setting Internet Explorer as your default browser in Windows 10 during OS Deployment

Sep 29 2015

The last few weeks I have stumbled across quite a number of customers wanting to set Internet Explorer 11 as the default browser in Windows 10.

E.g. the opposite of this post: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/make-microsoft-edge-your-default-browser

Microsoft does have an interesting post on the topic:

How Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 work better together in the Enterprise
http://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2015/08/26/how-microsoft-edge-and-internet-explorer-11-on-windows-10-work-better-together-in-the-enterprise/

But…. I prefer to use DISM or Group Policy to simple control the default application associations, more info on this post:

Export or Import Default Application Associations
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825038.aspx

Anyway…. You basically have two options, either set the default program/protocols at deployment, or via group policy. The latter is useful for inplace-upgrade scenarios where the deployment route is not available (when setting via OSD, it has to be set in WinPE, and the inplace-upgrade happens online). Below you find guides for:

  • Option 1: Step-by-step guide for OS Deployment
  • Option 2: Step-by-step guide for Group Policy 

Additional References

If setting the default browser in Windows 10, you are probably interested in configuring the start menu and taskbar as well. Check these links from ConfigMgr guru Jörgen Nilsson.

Customizing the Taskbar in Windows 10 during OSD
http://ccmexec.com/2015/12/customizing-the-taskbar-in-windows-10-during-osd/

Making the IE shortcut survive an in-place upgrade in Windows 10
http://ccmexec.com/2016/05/making-the-ie-shortcut-survive-an-in-place-upgrade-in-windows-10/

Customizing the Windows 10 Start Menu and add IE Shortcut during OSD
http://ccmexec.com/2015/09/customizing-the-windows-10-start-menu-and-add-ie-shortcut-during-osd/

Option 1: Step-by-step guide for OS Deployment

  1. Find a Windows 10 machine, and using Default Programs / Set Associations, configure HTTP/HTTPS to use Internet Explorer.

image

2. Export the configuration by running the following command in an elevated PowerShell prompt (or Command prompt):

Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\Setup\ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml

3. Apply the settings to your image offline by mounting the image, or import during deployment (during WinPE phase, online import does not work currently). To apply the settings to an offline image, mount the image, and then use this command (I mounted the Windows 10 image to C:\Mount):

Dism.exe /Image:C:\Mount /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\Setup\ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml

image

Of course you can (and should) do this the same thing during MDT deployment, simply add the following run command line action to your task sequence (this example that you have copied your exported XML to a Branding folder inside your deployment share):

Dism.exe /Image:%OSDisk%\ /Import-DefaultAppAssociations:%DEPLOYROOT%\Branding\ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml

TS001

Option 2: Step-by-step guide for Group Policy

This scenario is useful for already deployed machines, and/or for inplace-upgrades.

  1. Find a Windows 10 machine, and using Default Programs / Set Associations, configure HTTP/HTTPS to use Internet Explorer.

IE

2. Export the configuration by running the following command in an elevated PowerShell prompt (or Command prompt):

Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:C:\Setup\ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml

3. Copy the ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml file to a share on a file server. In this example I used a shared named Apps on a server named DC01. I have also granted domain computers read access to that share.

IE001

4. Create a new group policy that copies the file to a folder using group policy preferences, and configures the machine to use it. The policy that sets the associations is Computer Configuration / Policies / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / File Explorer / Set a default associations configuration file.

IE002
Configuring the group policy to copy the ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml to C:\Setup.

IE003
Configuring group policy to apply the ViaMonstraAppAssoc.xml file.








Happy deployment, and thanks for reading!


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