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- Set default web browser in Windows 11 using Group Policy - Thu, Dec 23 2021
Set up a reference system for GPO ^To set a default program via GPO, configure the default apps on the admin machine, export them to an XML file, and specify it as a configuration file in the appropriate group policy. To create a sample configuration for default apps, you need to log on to the machine with an admin account because the DISM utility requires elevated privileges. On the other hand, if you configure the file type associations as a normal user, then these changes will be neglected because DISM will export not these but the settings of the privileged user. The standard browser is set using the Windows 11 GUI, as described above. The good news is that you can also use a PC with Windows 10 for this because the format of the exported settings remains the same. Once you have specified all the default apps you want, switch to a command prompt or PowerShell session, and run the following command:
dism /online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:assoc.xmlThis will write the list of default apps and their associated file types or protocols to the assoc.xml file. This file contains the settings for both the web browser and all other types of applications. However, you can just keep the entries you actually need and import only the sections that affect the browser. Other standard apps are not changed or deleted by importing the reduced list on the target computers. This task can be done relatively easily with PowerShell. For example, if you have defined Chrome as the default on the reference computer, then extract the settings responsible for the browser with this command:
Get-Content .\assoc.xml | Select-String -Pattern "Chrome|.xml|DefaultAssociations"| Out-File -Encoding utf8 .\browser.xmlThe output file contains an empty line before the XML declaration, which you should remove in an editor. Then copy it to a file share that can be accessed by all target PCs.