How to Stop Edge From Hijacking Your PDF or HTML Associations

Windows 10’s file association protection mechanism prevents direct changes to the UserChoice area of the registry for each file type. When no file association (user choice) is set in the registry or if an application makes the hash void by incorrectly writing to UserChoice registry key to set associations, this triggers a reset of file association for that file type, going back to Windows 10 defaults. For instance, Edge may takeover your PDF file associations after an update, or due to the above mentioned reasons and the Action Center notifies you that an app default was reset.

"An app caused a problem with the default app setting for .pdf files, so it was reset to Microsoft Edge"

Solution

Use the following steps to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking the PDF, or .HTM/.HTML file associations.


Update: You can automate the following using a Registry File. You can download it from article Fix “An App Default Was Reset” which is based on the following edit.


1. Start the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModel\Repository\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_25.10586.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Capabilities\FileAssociations

Note: The above key applies if you have Microsoft  Edge v25.10586.0.0 installed, which is the current version as of this post. If you have any other build number, choose the appropriate key. It will be usually in this format:

Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_nn.nnnnn.n.n_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe, Where the nnn… is a placeholder for the actual version/build no.

2. In the right-pane, note down the Prog IDs assigned for .pdf, and .htm or .html file types. In this case, the Prog ID for .pdf is AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723



3. Go to the following location

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723

In the right-pane, create a string value (REG_SZ) named NoOpenWith

This prevents the .PDF file association takeover by Microsoft Edge. The NoOpenWith entry works on per-ProgID basis. For .HTM/.HTML files, add the NoOpenWith entry here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9

Anniversary Update: If you’re using Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you also need to create additional string value named NoStaticDefaultVerb in the above key.

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Use Default Programs to re-associate the file type with your preferred program.

No matter which program writes to or tampers the user choice registry area, Microsoft Edge shouldn’t takeover the defaults from now on. And in case of missing file association settings under userchoice, the settings under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.{fileext} will be used as fallback, just as in earlier Windows Operating Systems.

Note that this also hides Microsoft Edge in the Open With dialog boxes for the corresponding file types, but still shown in the Default Programs (Classic) listing. If an update removes the NoOpenWith and NoStaticDefaultVerb values, set the value again under the appropriate ProgID key.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

34 thoughts on “How to Stop Edge From Hijacking Your PDF or HTML Associations

  1. Hi Ramesh: My Win10 Registry doesn’t have the MS Edge key in the location you specified at ….\Repository\Packages\……
    I am listing the D and G section below:
    “Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller_1.0.2181.0_x64_8welun3d8bbwe” and the immediate after that D key is “Microsoft.Getstarted_4.2.29.0_64_8wekyb3d8bbwe”.
    There is no words relating to Edge at all
    So, where is the MS Edge key in Registry for me to follow the rest parts of editing to remove the association of Edge with PDF?

    Ramesh original post: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModel\Repository\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_25.10586.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Capabilities\FileAssociations

  2. Temporary solution was to copy needed pdf files
    to a flash drive and read files on one of my windows7 computers with adobe reader I often need to email tax return copies to my clients so until Microsoft corrects this problem this is the compromise. The
    more things change the more things change and
    not necessarily for the better

  3. This has worked for me, but even when i try to set the default it wont let me change it.. but least it comes up with the choice to open with adobe.. but it does it every time

  4. I hope this works, i have been battling with Edge taking over PDF opening since i installed windows 10 on release day. I use specialist tools to edit PDFs that edge cannot use so having edge open the pdfs is a complete and utter no go and it is now finally starting to yank my chain!!

    FIX THIS MS!!

  5. UPDATE * 12/10/2016
    Yes like the previous comment with the latest update in Windows this no longer works, and I’ve noticed something else, it also removes the tick box !!
    So when you right click an PDF and click open with another application, there is no longer and option to Always open with this Application etc.

  6. Then de-arm a nuclear device, cure cancer and fly to mars using a solar sail. Jeez how about Microsoft fixes this for us?

  7. This fix worked for me before September 2016 Windows 10 update, but no longer appears to work. Neither does setting Adobe DC as default programme for PDFs in Windows settings stick – it goes back to Edge.

    This update also reversed my remapping of caps lock and renaming of Livedrive folder edits to registry, though repeating the edits for these appears to have worked.

  8. Will this work for all users on the machine or only the current logged in user? We have a conference room machine that gets new users weekly and it always runs into this problem.

    Thanks!

  9. Oh joy! For months I’ve been trying to find a fix to stop Edge hijacking my PDF files and your method worked for me. Thank you!

  10. Most excellent! I love the feeling of taking a tiny bit of power back from Microdick. Thank you.

  11. I found something which I think is very interesting. I am a computer consultant with my own business. So I have had a chance to deal with several Windows 10 upgrade issues. The most frustrating one for one of my clients, a law office, is that the above instructions nor any other techniques from the internet work. Microsoft Edge simply pops up a message that something has changed your, “Default PDF Application and.. Microsoft Edge is changing it back to Edge”. This is after the changes have been made in the Registry and the computer has been restarted. And after other attempts at changing the settings in Adobe and in the PDF file associations for Win 10 have been attempted and failed. I noted in trying these instructions that Microsoft has changed the locations for the registry keys above. So I had to track down other possible registry locations which did not work for the problem. The locations above are no longer there for Edge, Version 25.10586.0.0. I just finished working on that customer’s problem Monday, 7/25/16.

    There is another small business customer, a Rain Gutter installation firm, where I just completed a Win 10 upgrade today, Tuesday, 7/26/16. The PDF hijack was not a problem. I chose Google Chrome when setting the default Web Browser during the config phase and Adobe easily assumed the default PDF viewer app, with no protest from Microsoft Edge.

  12. works for html htm files and Internet Explorer will continue to open thoses saved on my PC and adobe still open PDFs

    But doesnt not work for protocols http and https: links in programs or shortcuts

    NoOpenWith leaves the Default Apps screen with a blank field which is ok but we need something else for protocols
    Any idea?

  13. @Kristi: Edge doesn’t handle those extensions which you can see in the registry path #1 above. If you can post the settings, I may be able to assist.

  14. This works great to stop the association from changing .pdf’s and .htm’s even after the Windows update. Is it possible to do this to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking .jpg, png, .bmp, etc. file associations? Thanks!

  15. This solution works for me and I can access my profile again but I have to keep doing this every time I power down and restart the computer. The NoOpenWith registry changes don’t save.

  16. Thank you very much!
    Groove music player kept changing my file association for .mp3
    This solution worked like a charm!

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXqj98qxeaynz6dv4459ayz6bnqxbyaqcs

  17. Hi, I have the same problem with Goldmine 8.5. I tried running it in compatibility mode with XP SP3. That solves the problem of default apps changing but messes with the Office integration. Setting Office to the XP mode as well does not solve the integration problem. Any other ideas?

  18. ****! Thank you. Rolling out Surface Pro 4’s in corporate environment and our default PDF editor constantly resetting was one of the many things driving me nuts.

    This has work. Thank you!

  19. Great help – I was getting used to just going back to settings after each boot – then this last night an automatic Windows boot has made it so I cannot change the default at all from Edge.
    Your tip did the trick – after all these years since Win286, a long time ago, I’m starting to get really p”’ed off with Microsoft Corp’s antics – I would rather buy Win10 and not let them mess with my configuration choices – EVER!!!

    Thanks again, so very much

  20. Hi, I was able to follow the instructions well, but my outcome is not the same. Is there a need to set a value in the NoOpenWith Data column maybe?
    I have been able to locate the program causing the issue. It is an older version of GoldMine. Whenever it is started, pdf defaults back to edge. Your diagnosis sounds logical in my case “an application makes the hash void by incorrectly writing to UserChoice registry key to set associations”, but I’m wondering if the software is soo old, it is causing another issue. The manufacturer of GoldMine does not support this version with Windows 10.
    Thanks in Advance

  21. This is terrific advice! Thank you. After struggling for months with Windows 10 resetting my file types to Microsoft Edge, it’s great to be able to block it. Also, I found that Windows 10 was resetting jpg files to Edge as well as pdf and htm/html files. Thank you again.

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