Specifies that a shell extension should be added to the approved shell extensions list when installed.

Element hierarchy








  Name = 'A string with a value between 1 and 32767 characters in length with a non-whitespace character at its beginning and end.'
  Clsid = 'A GUID in the form xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx.' />

Attributes and elements


Attribute Description Data type Required Default value
Name A descriptive name of the Shell extension. This value is not actually used directly by the system but makes it easier to read the entry in the registry. A string with a value between 1 and 32767 characters in length with a non-whitespace character at its beginning and end. Yes
Clsid The Clsid of the COM class that implements the Shell Extension. A GUID in the form xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx. Yes

Child elements


Parent elements

Parent element Description
Extension Defines an extensibility point for the application.



Registering an approved shell extension requires that the installer have Administrative permissions, as noted in Registering Shell Extension Handlers.

MSIX apps don't have custom installers, and there's no way for users to manually run them as an Administrator. Instead, MSIX-based apps using the desktop7:ApprovedShellExtension element must set the desktop7:Scope manifest attribute to the value of machine (which will prompt the user to elevate during install). You set the desktop7:Scope attribute on the desktop:Extension element.

Equally importantly, to set the desktop7:Scope attribute to machine, your app's package needs to declare the custom capability <uap4:CustomCapability Name="Microsoft.classicAppCompatElevated_8wekyb3d8bbwe"/>. That custom capability is granted to only a limited set of apps.

A shell extension is used in conjunction with a COM class in the manifest that is exposed through Packaged COM (windows.comServer; see com:ComServer). That COM class is used as a Shell Extension Handler (for example, DesktopPropertyHandler, ThumbnailHandler). That info applies to all of the shell extensions that you can declare in the app package manifest.

As mentioned in Registering Shell Extension Handlers, the impact of including or not including the desktop7:ApprovedShellExtension element is whether or not the shell extension would be turned off when an administrator on the machine turns on the key EnforceShellExtensionSecurity.


Item Value