How to Configure Google Chrome Using Group Policy ADMX Templates?

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In this article we’ll get acquainted with the Chrome Group Policy administrative templates (admx), provided by Google, that allow you to centrally manage browser settings in an Active Directory domain. Chrome`s ADMX GPO templates greatly simplifies the deployment and configuring of this browser in a corporate network. Also, we will show several typical tasks of managing Google Chrome settings using GPO and installing browser extensions.

Goals:

We need to create a GPO for Google Chrome Bookmarks & home page/landing page.

Under the bookmarks, few URLs would be there. It will be easy for users to access these url/site. Also by home page – most useful/frequently open site can be set, so that when user open Google chrome, the page will be displayed first.

Gyan:

All policy setting for Group Policy Management Console are not readily available. Sometime to manipulate group policy settings for higher version OS (i.e. Screensaver for Windows 10) or third party application (i.e. Google Chrome),we need to download group policy setting supported files – admx (policy settings) along with adml (language suppot). Both files are stored into central storage repository, known as “Central Store”. For higher Windows it is “PolicyDefinitions” – automaticall createdwhen a DC built under C:\Windows\

Process:

Incorporate Chrome GPO templates:

        1.     To manage Chrome settings through Group Policies, you must download and install a special set of administrative GPO templates.

https://dl.google.com/dl/edgedl/chrome/policy/policy_templates.zip

    2.   Before that check the Group Policy once. Simply edit any existing GPO >User Configuration >Policies > Administrative Templates (below snap) – only default group policy setting are available now.


Pix-01: Default Group Policy Management Editor

 3.      Downloaded policy templates have 3 folders, we’ll work only for admx folder. In admx folder,         multiple language file (adml) & 2 admx files – chrome.admx & google.admx.

Pix-02: Downloaded templates

4.       Copy only content of en-US – chrome.adml & google.adml into C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US chrome.admx & google.admx files into C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions folder.

Pix-03: Copying *.adml files

            5.     Navigate to Start > Run: gpedit.msc or edit any exiting GPO >Navigate to Computer Configuration or User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Google / Google Chrome Group policy template will appear under Administrative Templates.

Pix-04: Browsing Google policy settings

Google Chrome Bookmarks GPO :

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  Create a new GPO (i.e. GPO_Chrome Bookmarks) >Edit >User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Google Chrome > Managed Bookmarks > Edit > Enabled & type/paste your book mark URLs in specific way: [{“name”: “Google”, “url”: “https://Google.co.in/”}, {“name”: “Udemy”, “url”: “https://www.udemy.com/”}]. (i.e. JSON Code)

Pix-05: Google Chrome Bookmarks

Pix-06: Chrome Managed Bookmarks

Google Chrome Home page/Landing page GPO :

 Create a GPO (i.e. GPO_Google Chrome Homepage) > Edit > User Configuration > Policies >               Administrative Templates > Google >Google Chrome > Startup, Home page and New Tab page >           Check each policy Settings >

 Configure the home page URLEnabled – mention the URL is specific format (i.e. https://example.com).

Configure the New tab page URLDisabled

Action on startupEnabled – select “Open a list of URLs” from drop down in option menu.

URLs to open on startupEnabled – Click on “Show” in option menu > type the URL for home page.

Show Home button on toolbar Enabled ( this setting is optional) 

Pix-07: Policy settings for Home page

Pix-08: Action on startup

Pix-09: URLs to open on startup

Pix-10: Final state of policy settings for Chrome home page

Note: The same settings are also available under Computer Configuration & depends upon version of OS, location of these settings are little different. In my scenario, it is Windows Server 2019 Std. In same way we can incorporate Microsoft Edge policy templates (template download link is below). But still I have not find out any solution to set home page through GPO for Microsoft Edge. If you have, please comment.

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