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04: When I unlicense or remove PolicyPak Browser Router from scope, PolicyPak Browser Router Agent still shows as OS “default browser”. Why is that and is there a workaround?

On Windows 8.1 or later, once PolicyPak Browser Router is licensed, it becomes the “default browser” in the operating system, like what is seen here.

But even if you unlicense PolicyPak Browser Router or remove the computer from the scope of any PolicyPak Browser Router rules, you will find that PolicyPak Browser Router Agent is apparently maintained as the OS’s default browser.

This is a “Display Only” and “cosmetic” and not reflective upon reality.
This is by design and cannot be fixed

That being said, once you have removed PolicyPak Browser Router from scope (or unlicensed) it, it is not active any longer.

Usually IE or Edge will now actually be the default browser as far as the user EXPERIENCES it.

Alternatively, (when PolicyPak Browser Router is not present.) … an end user could open up Firefox, Chrome, IE or Edge … like what is seen here…

and manually or the operating system itself and specify the desired default browser .. like what is seen here…

And change the default browser themselves.

When this occurs, you should see the OS default change accordingly and be maintained correctly at next login.

This might be “good enough” and most customers can stop reading here if they want to stop using PolicyPak Browser Router.

But, you might have more requirements:

  • Maybe you really, really don’t like PolicyPak Browser Router displaying, even though the problem is only “cosmetic.”
  • Maybe you want to FORCE SET a default browser and ensure it for the user (but this time, not using PolicyPak Browser Router).
  • Maybe you want to set a specific browser as the default, THEN let the user change it after you set the default, say, to IE.

For either / both of these options…

Step 0.. You have to delete this file first…as a one time action using GPPPrefs


  • Use PolicyPak File Associations Manager to set HTTP and HTTPS to Internet Explorer. This is supported as long as you are NOT using PolicyPak Browser Router any longer. Link for more details.
  • Use the in-box Group Policy method for File / Protocol Associations (not recommended, since you have PolicyPak File Associations Manager, and this method is not dynamic NOR can you use it ALONGSIDE PolicyPak File Associations Manager, so it is NOT recommended): Link for more details.

Remember: The two methods above PERMANENTLY AFFIX it to IE, and don’t make it changeable. (Technically, the user CAN change it, but then it’s ‘snapped back’ every time the user logs off and on.)

-ANOTHER OPTION- … INSTEAD of forcing a particular browser, you can SET ONE BROWSER as the DEFAULT, then let the user CHANGE

“How can I set it to IE, then make it changeable by the end user?”
To do this.. we found a utility, which you can likely DEPLOY ONCE via PolicyPak SCRIPTS on the USER side .. (we didn’t test that; and only tested it manually on the user side)…
(PolicyPak makes no warranties about this tool.)

When it runs.. it worked instantly.. and set the default browser. In this example we set it to IE.
And then it was later changeable by the user.

Note: If you uninstall the PolicyPak Client Side Extensions on a machine where PolicyPak Browser Router was set as the default browser then Microsoft Edge will become the default browser immediately after the PolicyPak Client Side Extensions are uninstalled. You will see the notification below on your screen and if you check the default apps you will see that Edge has become the default browser.

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  • 10-Jul-2019