Manage File Type Associations via Intune

The purpose of this blog post is to inform you how to manage the File Type Associations for Windows 10 and 11 via Microsoft Intune

By default, it is only possible to set one File Type association per file type extension. Also, it is only possible to configure one File Type Association XML file. This XML file must be Base64 encoded. In this blog post, I will explain how to manage the File Type Associations via Microsoft Intune via Settings Catalog and Custom Configuration Profiles

Requirements:

  • Global Administrator
  • Microsoft Intune

File type Associations

Every file has an extension. E.g., .pdf, .xlsx, .txt. Those extensions are used to determine with which application these files will be opened. A File Type Association associates the file extension with an application, so when a file type association is set, the file will be opened with the configured application.

File type associations can be set manually in Windows 10/11 via four methods: Settings, File properties, File Explorer and, control panel.

File Type Associations can also be set via Intune, there are different built-in options available. File Type Associations can e.g., be set via a Custom Policy with an OMA-URI or via Setting catalogs. File types can also be set via a PowerShell script, but I prefer the built-in methods.

The File Type Associations file that will be used to set the File Type Associations must be an XML file and encoded in Base64.

Official Microsoft documentation about File Type Associations can be found here

Built-in methods to configure File Type Associations via Intune

File Type Associations can be set via the following built-in methods. But I prefer the Settings catalog method. No hassle with OMA-URI, just a search screen to find the needed configuration setting and with info and a link to the official Microsoft documentation.

Custom device configuration profile

  • Select Windows 10 and later as the platform
  • Select Templates as the profile type and select Custom
  • Click on Create
  • Provide a policy name, e.g., EndpointCave-PRD-W10-Custom-FileTypeAssociation
  • Set a description, so that everyone with access to the portal knows the purpose
  • Click on Next and configure the custom Configuration profile
  • Click on the Add button to add an OMA-URI
  • Fill in OMA-URI data as described in below table.
NameDescriptionData TypeValue
File Type Associations Default AppsStringFile type association XML

OMA-URI

./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/ApplicationDefaults/DefaultAssociationsConfiguration
  • Click on Next
  • Enter a scope tag if needed and click on Next
  • Assign the profile to a group and click on Next
  • Set an applicability rule if needed and click on Next
  • Check the configuration at the Review + Create page and click on Create

Setting catalogs

  • Select Windows 10 and later as the platform
  • Select Settings catalog as the profile type
  • Click on Create
  • Provide a policy name, e.g., EndpointCave-PRD-W10-SC-FileTypeAssociation
  • Set a description, so that everyone with access to the portal knows the purpose
  • Click on Next
  • Click on + Add settings to add Default Associations Configuration

Note. The setting Default Associations Configuration is listed under the category Application Defaults.

  • Select the checkbox before Default Associations Configuration the settings is now available in the Configuration settings section
  • Close the Settings Picker
  • Paste the Base64 encoded File Type Association XML file in the input field
  • Click on Next
  • Enter a scope tag if needed and click on Next
  • Assign the profile to a group and click on Next
  • Check the configuration at the Review + Create page and click on Create
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