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Set Defauilt File Association Group Policy is not working



We're using Windows Server 2019 as VDA's and trying to set a custom file association for an in house application.

Let's say the app is called MapStar and we want to associate .msx and .mxs file extensions.  (just made this up)

MapStar is an installed app and shows up in Add/Remove programs but seems to not auto associate the file extensions it uses.

-I've basically followed a couple guides I Googled like this

-I've set the file associations wile logged in and used DISM.exe to export the .xml file.

-Used Group Policy to "Set a default association configuration file" and pointed to the .xml file.

-Update Group policy, log off log in, reboot, ect.. log in as a different user and the custom association is missing.

-Found people talking about needing to rename the metadata file to something.txt. I tried that too, and remembered to update group policy to \\hometown.local\NETLOGIN\scripts\defaultasssoc.txt(xml)


I've attached a copy of the fileassociation.txt. The name of the actual app has been edited to MapStar and association changed to .msx and .mxs


My best Googling skills have not found an answer. Does anyone have an ideas?


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Use the following tool for setting FTA's per user: 
SetUserFTA: UserChoice Hash defeated – Set File Type Associations per User or Group on Windows 8/10/11 and 2012/2016/2019/2022 – the kolbicz blog

The extension needs to be known/present under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. 7-Zip (.7z) is the best example for such a scenario. 



If you still see the OpenWith dialog (especially after adding new applications: “keep using this app“) you can disable this feature with this registry key:[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
this registry key also works with HKEY_CURRENT_USER!
the GPO Do not show the ‘new application installed’ notification (Windows Components, File Explorer) will only work on HKLM – but its also an option to disable this popup


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SetUserFTA can be used but you will need to pay

WEM can also do the job

But to your point, this should be working fine with the tools Microsoft give you - is it just one application failing to apply or are no extensions being honored?

It might be worth applying to the local machine policy in the first instance to see if it's a GPO failure or an XML failure etc

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Posted (edited)

I'll look again but I don't believe I saw the GP failing in the gpresult.

Any other advice or things to check? Do you know of any place specific I should look for errors? I don't believe I'm seeing any in Windows App or System logs.



Edited by bbrinkm64
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