UPDATE 16.12.2017 – Version 1.2 now supports Windows 8/8.1 and Server 2012/R2.
UPDATE 10.12.2017 – running Windows 1703 and newer, you can now use my SetUserFTA utility to change the default browser. Just make sure you set .htm. html, http and https properly.
if you are into XenApp, RDS or VDI, then you probably know how difficult it is to configure the environment properly for the enduser nowadays. in my latest blog article, i showed you how to configure File Type Associations per User. based on this previous work i have created a utility that can do the same for the Default Browser.
the story behind is pretty much the same, but to set a Browser, additional Registry Keys are needed (they are protected with the Hash like the Filetypes). the only difference is, that Microsoft also checks the path of the Browser (and hashes it too). for that reason i decided to create a separate tool to make it as simple as possible.
newer windows builds don’t need the path of the browser anymore and therefore the hash changed too – but i have updated my tool to support all possible combinations:
- Windows 10 x86/x64 Build 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803
- Server 2016 Build 1607
- Windows 8 and 8.1
- Server 2012 and 2012 R2
if you want to know more about the technical details (how the hash is calculated), please read my previous blog post.
how to use
its really simple. just run SetDefaultBrowser.exe in the user context (there is a list of possible ways in my previous blog) with the browser of your choice as parameter.
SetDefaultBrowser.exe browser optional:group
i support five browsers at the moment. if there is a request, i might add more in the future (i did only test with actual versions available – November 2017). of course you need the browser installed (on local machine, not user). checks for the existence of the browsers are limited and the tool will change the registry, even if a browser like is not present (like edge on Server 2016 or LTSB).
it will even find the browser when it is not installed at the default path. Firefox was a pain to implement, because it uses three different types of file handlers (x86, x64 and something that i call legacy). i tried to make it as dynamic as possible to support all possible versions. if you find one that doesn’t work, please let me know.
following browsers are supported:
- firefox (shortcut ff)
- iexplore (shortcut ie)
this will set firefox as default browser for the current user.
SetDefaultBrowser.exe firefox “Firefox Users”
will set the default browser to firefox if the user is member of the “Firefox Users” group. if the group contains a space, you must supply quotes. you can supply the group with the domain name like DOMAIN\Groupname or in UPN format like email@example.com.
the easiest way in an enterprise environment is to use the Group Policy Logon Script feature, just like in this screenshot (you need loopback mode activated, when deploying to computers):
if you still see this screen after you used SetDefaultBrowser:
then you most likely installed a new browser and not all needed registry keys are present. just make sure that
contains all filetypes for the browser you just installed.
if you find a bug or have a special request, you can send me an email to bugs@ mydomain (the one in the browser address bar).
download SetDefaultBrowser v1.2 here.
SHA256 .zip 417D86D5F6741DEB6C5926A1ABCB47E1496B4311E74142F6FC1893F10C266AD9 SHA256 .exe 087641E8DF31AC98AE3E064DB1351A32F4A6629CFC13A5BEEB7E79565878BADE
Version 1.0 – first public version
Version 1.0.1 – additional Firefox detection
Version 1.1 – now working on Windows 1703 and 1709, opera support added
Version 1.2 – support for Windows 8.x and Server 2012/R2 added