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Menu: Extensions: URLs (Protocol Handlers)

App-V categorizes aspects of an applications installation into a set of "Extensions", each of which require special processing either during app deployment or during the virtual app runtime.

URL Protocol Handlers are an externally exposed extension that affects the external OS during App-V Publishing.  This allows an end-user, from a foreign application, to access certain COM based functionality exposed by the handler. Examples of URL Protocol Handlers you are likely to be familiar with are http:, ftp:, and mailto:

A large percentage of the URL handlers we see captured are part of the vendor's application update mechanisms (so that they can update the main program without it being running). We commonly defeat the updaters, both because they are unwanted (IT controls when things get updated, not rogue vendors) and App-V is going to prevent the overwriting of exe and dll files anyway.

While the App-V package captures the registry based items for URLs  laid down by the installer, it collects the essence of the URL in the attributes of the virtual URL extension. Most importantly, this essence (intentionally) looses knowledge as to whether the URL was laid down for all users or just the current user.  Instead, App-V will deploy this URL extension on the  bases of the type of publishing performed (to a named user or device, aka "global" publishing).

You can to the following for an URL:

  • View the URL definition, and view any associated ICON.  Not that we know why there is an ICON defined or how anyone would ever see it.  Including a native install of the software.
  • Disable the Handler by unchecking the Enabled field.
  • Modify most fields.  Some additional ones are shown but not editable.  We really don't expect anyone to edit one of these things.  If you need it, let us know.