VDI W10 DEM, save Start menu and Default file associations

/ November 25, 2019/ VMware Horizon

Hello all, this blog contains configuration settings to save the Windows 10 Start Menu and Default file Associations.

To satisfy the customer need for being flexible in combination with VDI, it is a nice thing that you can save the icons at the start menu and taskbar.

The configuration has been tested with several accounts and different production and test environments. Getting the configuration files has taken a lot of personal time and therefore i would like to share it with my readers.

Start Menu

Since  the release of Windows 10 build 1709, the configuration about the start menu has been saved within the registry instead of a database. Therefore With DEM or other user environment managers can be used to set or save the start menu by including the following registry key:
**the following output is a copy from the DEM console**


By saving the above registry key, users can save their own tiles within the start menu and taskbar, even the location would be saved.

Default file associations

While testing my environment with the default template from DEM to save and set the file associations, I noticed that the template doesn’t work in combination with the Windows 10 build 1809.

to save the file associations the following registry keys will be exported at logoff and imported while the user logged in.



With DEM you can set predefined settings to ensure that all users have the same default file associations for the first session. Users are able to reset the custom file associations back to the original which has been set by the system administrator. The following set of predefined settings is an example. You may use it in your own environment ;

The following predefined settings are configured:

  • https and http will be opened with IE instead of Edge
  • .PDF file will be opened with Adobe Reader DC
  • Mails will be opened with Outlook instead of the default mail app


  1. How did you export your predefined file associations? thx-

    1. Hello Daemon, first set the file associations after doing that export the registry keys


      Or configure the hole set of properties within Dem, login to the desktop, set the associations, logoff and copy/paste the saved configuration from your archive into the predefined setting

      Thats all 😁

      1. Thank you for that quick response. believe it or not I was expecting any response. Thank you again.

        I’m actually missing one key from the instructions on Windows 10 1909,


        Should i have this key to export from my version of windows? As it stands right now my file associations are not being retain after logging out and my predefined settings aren’t being imported. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks again for you help.

  2. hi There will you to assist deploying, DEM to my production
    —i completed the installation but for some reason abit confuse to alots of things

    goal :
    -user can login to multiple PC can modify and startmenu and roam it.
    -how to set default app when opening file like pdf
    -use can get same start menu in citrix environment
    -how publish application?
    -deploying defalut start menu/ pinned task icons but user allow to modify and save it
    -how to roam google bookmarks/ password/setting etc

    Thanks in advance

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