Configure default apps using Intune

      25 Comments on Configure default apps using Intune

In this post I show how you can configure default apps using Intune for windows 10. By configuring default apps you configure which application will be used to open a specific file type or will be used to send an email or other tasks. In windows 10, some default applications are set to open certain tasks and file types. You can find these in the Default app screen in Settings -> Apps. Through the default app page, there are four ways to associate an application with a file type. 

Choose default app Select default apps (changes protocol and file type association)
Choose default app by file type Select which app to use by file type
Choose default apps by protocol Select which app to use based on protocol
Set defaults by app Select by app which file types are associated


Keep in mind:

Sometimes not all file and protocol associations are linked to the new default app. For example: If you change the video player from the default “Movies & TV” app to “Windows Media Player” associated file types as .mp4, .mpg will change, but the protocol MSWINDOWSVIDEO will still use the “Movies & TV” app. 


Set default apps with Intune

To configure the default apps through Intune, several steps must be followed. The first step is to configure the desired settings on a reference computer and export them to an xml file. Next, the xml must be encode to Base64. The encoded xml is then used in Intune to create a custom configuration profile. In this demo I use two computers; a reference computer to configure the settings and a target computer to test the policy on.


1. On your reference computer login as administrator and browse to Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps. In this screen you are able to choose the default apps. On the bottom of the screen you can reset the applications to their defaults or choose default apps based on file type, protocol and select by app.


2. Configure the applications you want to use as default applications. Additionally, you can select applications based on file type and protocol.


3. After you configure default apps, run Powershell (ISE) as an administrator. Enter the following command to export the settings to a XML file

Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:"<pathname/filename.xml>"


4. Open the XML file and copy the contents.


5. Open the Internet browser and go to an encoder for example Paste the contents of the xml file and press “Encode” to encode the xml data. Copy and save the encoded data string.


6. Login to the MEM admin center and select “Devices -> Windows -> Configuration profiles” or click here.  Press “+ Create Profile” to create a new configuration profile.


7. Select platform “Windows 10 or later”, select profile type “Templates” and select template name “Custom”. Press “Create” to create the configuration profile.


8. Enter a recognizable name and optional description. Press “Next” to continue.


9. Press “Add” to add the custom OMA-URI setting.


10. Enter the following values and press “Save” to continue.

Name: For example: DefaultAssociationsConfiguration
Description: For example: Default applications and associations
OMA-URI: ./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/ApplicationDefaults/DefaultAssociationsConfiguration
Data Type: String
Value: Copy encoded Base64 value (step 5)


11. A new row has been added, press “Next” to continue.


12. Assign the Configuration profile for example “testusers”.


13. Configure optional Applicability Rules or leave empty. Press “Next” to continue.


14. Review the settings and press “Create” to finish create and assign the device profile.


15. Wait for the device profile to be deployed to the target computer.


16. The default apps have now changed from the default windows 10 settings (left) to the settings as configured on the reference computer (right).

Keep in mind

Users will still be able to change the default applications, but the settings will be restored at the next sync.


I hope you liked this post about how to configure default apps using Intune. If you have any questions or comments about this post, just let me know in the comment section.

25 thoughts on “Configure default apps using Intune

  1. Enrique Ramirez

    Thank you for the info. Is there a way to set it so that it does not reset after the user makes changes ? We would like to sett the defaults as a suggestion not as a mandatory .

    1. okkies

      you could do this with a remediation script.
      set a flag when it has run once. if the flag is set to true, it wont change it back

  2. James Cook

    Thank you for this! Do I need to target this to users or devices ? I’ve tried to a group with a test user in and it doesnt seem to be doing a lot!

  3. FinancialSandwhich

    I’m having the same issue as @james cook i’ve tried in a test group with users and a test group with just devices

  4. Michael

    Unfortunately doesn’t seem to work at all.

    Tried the above instructions as well as the code posted on GitHub and neither does anything to the default apps.

    1. Michael

      I’ve resolved the issue, if anyone else has the same issue where it deploys but doesn’t work, I fixed by the following:

      On step 5 of the above, when you enter the XML into the first line of the XML shows ” remove this top line and then select Encode, use this text.

      For ease, the below will give you default apps; Outlook for Mail, Chrome for Browser and Adobe Reader for .pdf


      1. Michael

        Not sure why it has removed part of my comment above but the top line you should remove is:

        ?xml version=”1.0 encoding=”UTF-8″?

        1. Aad Lutgert Post author

          Hi Michael,

          Because of your comments, I tested it again, but it works for me without having to delete the first line . This is also consistent with Microsoft’s documentation. I was wondering which buildversion of Windows you are using. I used two Windows 10 21H2 enterprise VMs (OS Build 19044.1766).

          regards, Aad

  5. Lewis

    If we want to only set one or two apps as default and not all of them, can we export the xml file and then remove all the lines apart from the ones which reference the apps we want to set through the intune policy before we encode it?

  6. Sam P

    We use same way to deploy file association for pdf file for Adobe acrobat reader dc, mail app for outlook & link open in Chrome browser. We are using since 2020 but from Feb 2022, on 100 of devices chrome is taking over pdf file randomly. We check all setting even ProgID for Adobe. All looks fine as the same setting works for other 80 devices. Any thoughts?

    1. Fazilleau

      Hello, I see the same problem as you, and the Chrome application becomes the default application for PDF files.
      Have you found a reason, a solution?
      Have a good day

  7. Louis


    Do you know whether it’s possible to have multiple default app profiles?

    We have one for our Mail app and a separate profile for our media apps but when it deploys to my laptop it registers as a conflict.

    My plan is to merge them into one profile but I have been asked to look into why the conflict appears even though they are defaulting different file types / apps.



    1. Aad Lutgert Post author

      Hi Louis,

      You will get a conflict when you assign two different default association configurations to the same device. You will need to merge these policies to one profile to fix this.

      regards, Aad

  8. Ivan

    This is fantastic thank you so much for the step by step. I had a quick question do you happen to know how to configure intune to setup default apps to task bar? Id like to have these pinned explorer, outlook, chrome, onenote and teams.


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