User Group Policy – Internet Explorer Maintenance (#1 Best)

Group Policy – Internet Explorer Maintenance

This section is for administrators who want advice on how to control Microsoft’s Internet Explorer settings with a Group Policy.Group Policy for Internet Explorer

There are about a dozen main IE settings, if you would like advice on which are with bothering with, check Guy’s advice at the end of each component.

Windows Server 2003 Group Policy Topics

User Configuration

   Windows Settings

      Internet Explorer Maintenance


There are three places in Windows Server 2003 where you can configure Internet Explorer policies.  Some say that there are over 700 policies in Server 2003, it feels like there are 200 just for Internet Explorer.  Here are the three sections which specialize in IE, they are listed in my order of importance.

  1. User Configuration, Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintenance (Best)
  2. User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Internet Explorer
  3. Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Internet Explorer

1. User, Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintenance (Best)

The internet explorer is ripe for Microsoft Group Policies.  This section has a good mixture of policies which lock down the user, coupled with policies to spoon feed them with sensible defaults.  For example, controlling the proxy server and setting their home page.

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* Guy’s Top Three IE Maintenance Group Policies

Browser User Interface

This GPO section is just cosmetic.  Perhaps it’s worth the effort configuring if you are a large company or wish to impress your users or customers.  Guy’s advice – ignore.


* Proxy Settings

Most intranets will benefit from controlling the proxy server IP and ports.  Use a Microsoft Group Policy to centralize these TCP/IP numbers.  Guy’s advice – must configure this setting.

Automatic Browser Configuration

Useful for checking for updates.  Tricky setting – worth a look, especially when a new version of IE is released.

Connection Settings

You do not want users fiddling with modem settings, therefore, manage any connections through a Windows Server 2003 Group Policy.  Watch out for a check box which allows you to delete old modem settings.  Guy’s advice – useful for users with dial-up connections.

User Agent String

Used for tracking statistics.  Guy’s advice – specialist use only.


* Important URLs

Here is an Internet Explorer Group Policy for the ‘Home Page’.   Setting the Search Engine and online support will also benefit users.  Guy’s advice – always set these policies.

Favorite and Links

You may consider configuring these links centrally for all users.  Keep the most important sites near the top of the users search path.


* Security Zones and Content Rating

Today, all companies have views on what is appropriate surfing, here is where you control which sites are allowed.  Guy’s advice – must check.

Authenticode Settings

Not sure that you need these.  Specialist application.


Mundane, not earth shattering.  Worth checking that Outlook Express is the Newsgroup editor otherwise the defaults will be O.K.  Guy’s advice – harmless setting, but you may as well take control and set.

Server 2012 Disable Enhanced Security

Turning of IE ESC is easy, but only if you know where to look in the Server Manager to find the security settings.  The other decision is do you disable this setting for both Users and Administrators, or just Administrators.  See more on turning off IE ESC in Windows Server 2012.

Summary of GPO Internet Settings

There are about a dozen places to check the IE Group Policy settings, the main settings located in these three areas:

  • User Configuration, Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintenance (Best)
  • User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Internet Explorer
  • Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Internet Explorer

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See more Group Policies for Windows Users

Group Policies   •GPO Internet Explorer   • Group Policy Block Inheritance   •Logon Script Policies

Start Menu Group Policies   • Network Policies  •GPMC   •Troubleshooting Group Policies

Group Policy Overview  •Group Policy Results  • System Group Policies   • Software Installation

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