Custom apps for protocols in Windows 10

  1.    19 Oct 2016 #1

    Custom apps for protocols in Windows 10

    I would like to use a custom app not listed by Windows for my HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

    I've gone though the classic control panel, into Default Programs, and "Associate a file type or protocol with a program". If I select an extension I can hit "Change program..." click on the "More apps" links, scroll all the way down and then hit the "Select another app on this PC" link to open up a file browser and select any executable I wish. Those last two parts are not options for protocols, for HTTP and HTTPS (or any other protocols), I have to select one of the browsers Windows 10 thinks is a legitimate browser, which are not what I want to choose.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    20 Oct 2016 #2

    Hi, have you looked at the bottom of the list?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3.    20 Oct 2016 #3

    Yes. There is no built in option in Windows 10 Pro (or at least on my build of it) to select custom applications via the UI for protocols, you can only select applications installed on your machine that Windows 10 deems appropriate or applications form the app store which if installed Windows 10 would deem appropriate. This is not what I want.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,875
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       20 Oct 2016 #4

    DeathShot said: View Post can only select applications installed on your machine that Windows 10 deems appropriate or applications form the app store which if installed Windows 10 would deem appropriate.
    Actually you have that back to front - Windows doesn't 'deem' anything before an app is installed. It relies on the programme at install time to tell Windows what protocols it can handle. It is the responsibility of the developer of this custom app to make sure that the install sets the appropriate registry keys to list its capabilities.

    For example, the MAILTO protocol could easily be handled by opening a webmail site (Yahoo, Gmail, etc) in Firefox. However, Firefox does not install the registry keys to say it can be used for MAILTO, hence it is not offered by Windows as an option for that protocol. The key has to be added manually using Regedit.

    Bree said: View Post
    In the case of Firefox, a new String named mailto should be added to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\FIREFOX.EXE\Capabilities\URLAssociations with the value FirefoxURL
    Mailto: in Browsers not working

    Your custom app needs something similar in the registry to say it handles HTTP and HTTPS, without that it won't be in Window's list of available apps. Though I'm not sure exactly where in the registry that should go for a store app.
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  5.    21 Oct 2016 #5

    Hi, this should make it clearer - it provides more details and pictures to explain how to do this from the screenshot I posted previously:
    How to make any program the default on Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News

    Can you browse to your exe file?
    What is the program you're trying to associate with the protocol?

    If this doesn't work for you, please provide more detail of what you're trying to do, preferably with a screenshot. Thanks.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    27 Oct 2016 #6

    Guys, thanks for the replies and sorry for taking so long to get back, a lot of things have happened recently. @Bree, as a software developer who has worked on Windows applications before I know how it works, and really the reason I came here was in hopes that someone did know the string so I wont have to spend days going through MSDN documentation and dicking around with a VM. The browser I am trying to use is Iron (in this case) and strangely enough it worked in Windows 8.1. I do understand that it is not Microsoft's fault that it does not show up on their default list, and I am not holding Microsoft accountable for that, what I am holding them accountable is removing the ability to browse to an executable. This leads me to my reply to @dalchina, I have spent quite a bit of time googling this before asking for help, since I do not like wasting people's time. As I have stated, that works for file types, NOT protocols. There is no option to browse to an executable, which is why I need a registry setting tweak. As you can see in the screenshot there is no option on the list for changing association with a protocol to select a custom program, you cannot browse to an executable file.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7.    27 Oct 2016 #7

    Thanks for making it specific- I now understand your question, and that by now you know it's the Iron/Chromium browser not registering its handler.

    So, here is the registry change detected when I changed HTTP & HTTPS from 32 bit Firefox to 32 bit Pale Moon on my x64 Win 10 Pro.
    Naturally many of the changes are incidental - not significant.

    These appear to be the significant ones.
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\Hash: "m6EyItLN7GQ="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\Hash: "u7drfQzZvNI="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\ProgId: "FirefoxURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\ProgId: "PaleMoonURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\Hash: "bmmMZNatYoo="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\Hash: "bHdBYq8cpy8="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\ProgId: "FirefoxURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming\OpenWith\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\ProgId: "PaleMoonURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\Hash: "RwCAjRaqOZM="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\Hash: "MM+YAAjZ6m8="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\ProgId: "FirefoxURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice\ProgId: "PaleMoonURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\Hash: "Zo0lhcK9aCU="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\Hash: "vFMvRgZMnBw="
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\ProgId: "FirefoxURL"
    HKU\S-1-5-21-2598030854-2856894942-2756517887-1001\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice\ProgId: "PaleMoonURL"

    I suspect this will not of itself help you; I'm guessing you would need the registry keys corresponding to the browser having been registered to handle the protocol.

    If you wish to try to find those yourself for a registered browser, you might find regscanner (free) helpful as it is more convenient for searching the registry.
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  8.    27 Oct 2016 #8

    Thanks @dalchina I'll go though that and try to find something. If I ever do find a way to add a program easily I will be sure to post here. I have a few other higher priorities right now such as thoroughly backing, double encrypting, and then nuking my laptop as well as fixing windows permissions so I can clear some space on my desktop, and unfortunate job I have to go to. I will eventually get to taking a look at the logs you provided and trying to mess around with the registry. Hopefully regscanner will make the job far easier than pressing f3 on regedit 2000 times would be. Who knows though, maybe someone with a solution will find this first and save us all the trouble. If not, and I do find a solution, I will be sure to return here and post it so that future people can use non spyware or bloatware browsers on their machines.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,875
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       27 Oct 2016 #9

    This may be of some help...
    I had a similar problem trying to get Chrome to be a default browser in a sandbox. After hunting around for about 4 days, I think I have it sussed and have the below .reg file which does the trick and makes Chrome show up in the default browsers popup in settings. you should be able to adapt for your needs.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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