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How do I set per user preferences to make PDF files display in IE using a Group Policy?

Symptoms

User preferences for associating the IE Browser plugin for the Editor are not set during an unattended installation.

Cause

The registry keys needed to set the user preferences are located in HKCU and are not available to be set during install for any user not performing the installation.  This means that pushing the installation via a Group Policy (or other SYSTEM user based install) of the PDF-Xchange Editor cannot set this individual user preferences.

Resolution

Push the registry keys on a per user basis post install.

The following keys must be set in the HKCU hive:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\MIME\Database\Content Type\application/pdf]
"Extension"=".pdf"
"CLSID"="{53719C00-353D-4FCF-A8AB-1B1027B60A49}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MIME\Database\Content Type\application/pdf]
"CLSID"="{53719C00-353D-4FCF-A8AB-1B1027B60A49}"
"Extension"=".pdf"

One could create a login script pushing this as a reg key or create a user based Group Policy to set these keys on user login.  One advantage of using a Group Policy over a login script is that the policy will remain enforced after application and users cannot change it.  To change the default PDF Plugin for IE simply modify the policy.

{53719C00-353D-4FCF-A8AB-1B1027B60A49} has been the CLSID for the PDF-XChange Editor from V5.5 to the current build, 6.0 as of writing this.

See this article from Microsoft for details configuring a regitry item to be set by Group Policy:  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753092%28v=ws.11%29.aspx

Create a Policy and under User Configuration --> Preferences --> Windows Settings --> Registry.  Create 4 new keys. (right click --> New)  Each of the 4 keys mentioned above must be created, two with a CLSID value and two with the .pdf file extension.

create a key

Note that, as per the technet article referenced above, if the key does not already exist you will not be able to browse to it but must supply the path.  It is important that you do not include the hive or a leading or trailing slash.

Key Path

If you did not browse to a value or key, type the key path. Do not include the hive or a leading or trailing slash.

It is also important to include the "curly brackets" around the CLSID so {53719C00-353D-4FCF-A8AB-1B1027B60A49} not  53719C00-353D-4FCF-A8AB-1B1027B60A49

Typically the required keys will not exist and should be created.  Whether to create, update, or replace will depend on the current state of those keys for your users.  For a clean installation choose "Create".

Group Policy Management Console

With this policy in place any user it is applied to will have the Editor associated with IE for for viewing PDF files in the IE Editor plugin.

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