When you’re creating a set of Group Policy preferences, you can set all kinds of settings in a very similar way to how you would if you were sat in front of the machine. For example, IE settings are very intuitively laid out and it really is just like doing it within the internet control panel screen;
The key thing to remember though, is that in a lot of cases, just setting the preference isn’t enough, you have to enable it too. So for example, entering a homepage into the preferences panel will not make it actually apply, as you can see the lines underneath it stay broken red, which means that the setting will not get applied;
Although it’s not mentioned within the policy at all, there are keys you can press to enable or disable individual settings, or the entire page, and these are documented on Technet.
Basically, to enable the homepage setting we saw above, after you’ve finished entering it, press F6 and this will turn the line under the settings to green and this means that then this will get applied;
So from this you can enable or disable any setting from within the policy, and hopefully take a little more control over your Internet Explorer settings going forwards.
So, you’re managing a Windows estate and you’re in the process of updating Internet Explorer versions that you’ve managed via Group Policy. At some point you’re going to have multiple versions of Internet Explorer out in the wild and need to manage the settings for them both. As you should know by now, Internet Explorer maintenance settings have been deprecated in favour of Group Policy preferences.
The first thing to note is that even if you download the Group Policy templates for IE11 and install them correctly, you wont see an option for IE11, just IE10 and earlier.
Not to worry though, IE10 settings will apply just fine to IE11 and that is the desired behaviour. So, now you know how to configure settings for IE11, you might wonder how preferences for different versions of IE in the same policy would interact on the client machine. Well in the setup I looked at this had previously been done using item level targeting, which is in the common tab of the policy;
The targeting was looking into the registry and checking for specific version strings which would only have the policy apply where the registry strings matched what was being checked;
Now, while the above method would work it’s unnecessary. When you create a new setting within the policy, you’ll see some Item-level targeting is already put in place by Microsoft to ensure the settings only get applied to the right version IE on the client. The version of the IExplore.exe process running on the client machine is checked and then that is used to determine which IE settings to deploy from the GPO. So in my environment, as you can see below the settings would only apply to specific IE versions;
The XML file already contains all it needs to look for specific versions of IE, and as a result the various policies can co-exist with each other.
In short, the item level targeting is done for you, no need to add any more targeting unless you need to filter things down further.