Windows 11 (and 10) uses JSON file to comply with DMA for EU users

  • Microsoft has created a JSON file to turn features on and off on Windows 11 and 10 to comply with the DMA for EEA.
  • The “IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet.json” appears in the System32 folder after installing update KB5032288.
  • Although these configurations are specific for European users, anyone can modify them to control certain features in the operating system.

As part of the changes to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) for the European Economic Area (EEA), Microsoft recently announced that it would be uninstalling Microsoft Edge from Windows 11 and 10, as well as making changes to allow removing most inbox apps, let users change search providers, choose whether to sync data between a Microsoft account and the operating system, and preserve their default options before March 6, 2024 deadline. 

The new changes to remove and turn off specific features to comply with the DMA for the EEA are already available with the release of the update KB5032288 for Windows 11 and 10. However, they’re in a dormant state until the company decides to activate them.  

Since Microsoft is only obligated to comply with the Digital Markets Act, these changes will only benefit users in the 27 regions part of the European Economic Area. However, it has been found that the company will be controlling these changes through a simple JSON file known as “IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet.json” which is located in the “System32” folder, and as it turns out, anyone can take ownership of the file to modify the configurations to apply the changes to any region.  

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When you open the file, the code includes comments that make it easier to identify the feature, its configurations, and the list of regions where a specific feature can be disabled.  

At the time of writing, the “IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet” files include around 34 items that can be turned on and off. For example, the “Edge is uninstallable” option, when set to “enabled” while specifying the region, turns on the option that allows you to uninstall the web browser from the Settings app, and the “Windows CoPilot” option allows you to turn off the feature, even though you cannot remove it. 

These are all the features that can be turned on or off on Windows 11 to comply with the DMA:

  • Edge is uninstallable.
  • User can disable web search.
  • Narrator scripting extensions are enabled.
  • File Explorer Search is third party extensible.
  • First party File Explorer Search is allowed.
  • Featured apps show in Open With dialog.
  • Third party search providers show in search.
  • Third party search highlight content in search zero input.
  • First party search highlight content in search zero input.
  • Third parties can personalize the Taskbar Gleam.
  • First party Taskbar Gleam customization is shown.
  • Search MRU shows third party provider.
  • Edge is required for web search.
  • System components are differentiated from apps.
  • Backup options are restricted.
  • Show files from the MS Office MRU redommendation provider.
  • Third party feed is shown in Widgets.
  • Third party Widgets are shown in Widgets feed.
  • First party Widget feed can be enabled.
  • Use default web protocol for Widget links.
  • Restrict widgets data sharing.
  • Restrict third-party widgets data sharing.
  • UTC events should be tagged restricted.
  • XBox performance fit data sharing.
  • Shared ODD consent.
  • Windows CoPilot.
  • Automatic app sign-in.
  • Notifications on the taskbar for Widgets.
  • Show recent web searches in search zero input.
  • Show website items in start recommendations.
  • Widget sign-in is restricted to default account.
  • Widget third-party taskbar badges are enabled.
  • Widgets should be restricted to static recommendations.
  • First-party widgets have optimized frame and taskbar integration.
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If you want to apply these configurations to your installation, you must take ownership of the “IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet.json” file using the “Administrators” group. Once you take over the JSON file, you can open it with Notepad (admin) and then change the “defaultState” to “enabled” or “disabled,” and specify your location in the “region” brackets. For example, you would use the “US” if your location is in the United States. After modifying the configuration file, you will have to restart the computer to apply the configurations. 

You can check these instructions to uninstall Microsoft Edge to understand how the “IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet” file can be modified to turn features on or off. 

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