Can't stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking .pdf and .htm files


Since a few weeks Microsoft Edge keeps hijacking my .pdf and .htm files.

My choices for opening these files are Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and Firefox respectively. I can change the settings so that .pdf and .htm opens in these apps (aka my favorite apps), but the change doesn't last. Microsoft Edge hijacks them back after a day or two.

Every time Microsoft Edge hijacks .pdf and .htm I try one, two or all of the following settings changes:
a) Right click on the file and select Properties => Opens with => Change => select the app I prefer. Then press Apply and OK.

b) Right click on the file and select Open With => Choose Another App => Select the app I prefer. Tick the box "Always use this app to open..." . The press OK.

c) Press "Start" => Settings => "Choose a default app for each type of file" => navigate to .pdf and .htm respectively to select the app I prefer.

Everything seems fine a day or two, .pdf files keeps opening in Adobe Acrobat and .htm files keep opening in Firefox, but then suddenly BANG!  Microsoft Edge has hijact .pdf and .htm AGAIN!

This drives me nuts! I have Googled this issue over and over again, and the only advice I haven't tested yet is related to Registry changes.

I don't want to modify the Registry. This seems stupid and dangerous!

I use Windows 10 Pro version 1511, 64 bit

The OS Build is 10586.633.

Microsoft Edge is 25.10586.0.0

Any help appreciated!



Hi again,

Before reinstalling Windows I decided to try registry changes. It seems to do the trick!

Here is what I did:

1) Start Regedit

Search for regedit.exe
Open regedit as administrator by right click on it and choose "run as administrator"

2) Find keys identifying the hijacking

a) Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModel\Repository\Packages

b) Locate Microsoft Edge
In my case

Expand Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_38.14393.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe => MicrosoftEdge => Capabilities

Look at all the file extension keys and their values
Make a note of the values for file extensions that Edge hijacks.
In my case I have these hijacked file extensions:
.pdf => AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723
.htm => AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9
.html > AppX4hxtad77fbk3jkkeerkrm0ze94wjf3s9

In my example there where 2 different hijacking keys that Edge uses to hijack my .pdf and .htm files:

Repeat 2b if you have other hijacking apps from Microsoft (other than Edge) i.e. Groove music hijacking .mp3 etc.

3) Locate those hijacking keys and add strings to make Edge keep off
a) For each hijacking key
Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\<hijacking key>
Example: Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723

Select the Hijacking key in the left pane.

b) In the right pane, right click and select New => String Value
Set Value Name to NoOpenWith
(Leave Data empty)

Repeat b, but the second String Value is named NoStaticDefaultVerb

Repeat 3 for each hijacking key

Exit regedit

Go to Windows Settings, search for "Choose default app for each file type". Find your file extensions and select your favorite apps.


Final note:
Hijacking might resume when windows is updated, so you might need to go through all these steps again if this happens.

Somebody should make an app fixing these settings automatically! I see a great market potential!

Best regards,

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Question Info

Last updated April 16, 2021 Views 9,384 Applies to: