In Windows 10 Microsoft introduced its new default web-browser Microsoft Edge. Let’s try to figure out how to centrally manage Microsoft Edge GPO settings in the enterprise Active Directory domain environment.
If you open the Local Group Policy Editor console (gpedit.msc) on the current branch Windows 10 1903, then under section Computer Configuration > Administrative Template > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge (and User Settings > Administrative Template > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge) you can find 55 different Group Policy settings (in earlier Windows 10 RTM build there available only 10 policy settings for Edge). However, it is quite a small amount compared to almost 1500 different GPO settings for Internet Explorer browser). The following policies are available to manage Microsoft Edge settings:
- Allow Address bar drop-down list suggestions;
- Configure Autofill;
- Allow Microsoft Compatibility List;
- Allow clearing browsing data on exit;
- Allow configuration updates for the Books Library;
- Allow Developer Tools;
- Configure Do Not Track;
- Allow Extensions;
- Allow Adobe Flash;
- Configure the Adobe Flash Click-to-Run setting;
- Allow FullScreen Mode;
- Allow InPrivate browsing;
- For PDF files that have both landscape and portrait pages, print each in its own orientation;
- Configure Password Manager;
- Configure Pop-up Blocker;
- Allow Microsoft Edge to pre-launch at Windows startup, when the system is idle, and each time Microsoft Edge is closed;
- Allow printing;
- Allow Saving History;
- Allow search engine customization;
- Configure search suggestions in Address bar;
- Allow Sideloading of extension;
- Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen;
- Allow Microsoft Edge to start and load the Start and New Tab page at Windows startup and each time Microsoft Edge is closed;
- Allow web content on New Tab page;
- Always show the Books Library in Microsoft Edge;
- Configure additional search engines;
- Configure Favorites Bar;
- Configure Home Button;
- Configure kiosk mode;
- Configure kiosk reset after idle timeout;
- Configure Open Microsoft Edge With;
- Provision Favorites;
- Configure cookies;
- Disable lockdown of Start pages;
- Allow extended telemetry for the Books tab;
- Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List;
- Configure Favorites;
- Prevent using Localhost IP address for WebRTC;
- Configure Start pages;
- Prevent changes to Favorites on Microsoft Edge;
- Prevent access to the about:flags page in Microsoft Edge;
- Prevent certificate error overrides;
- Prevent the First Run webpage from opening on Microsoft Edge;
- Prevent Microsoft Edge from gathering Live Tile information when pinning a site to Start;
- Prevent bypassing Windows Defender SmartScreen prompts for sites;
- Prevent bypassing Windows Defender SmartScreen prompts for files;
- Prevent turning off required extensions;
- Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer 11;
- Set default search engine;
- Set Home Button URL;
- Set New Tab page URL;
- Show message when opening sites in Internet Explorer;
- Keep favorites in sync between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge;
- Unlock Home Button;
- Allow a shared Books folder.
In the each next Windows 10 build, the number of Microsoft Edge settings that can be managed via Group Policy progressively increased.
You can get the actual list of all available Microsoft Edge policies to manage your browser settings with the detailed description here.
Updating Microsoft Edge Group Policy Administrative Template
To get the later Edge group policies for your Windows 10, you need:
- Download the latest version of registry-based Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 1903 (v3.0, 8/28/2019 — https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=58495).
- To install new .admx files, run the file Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 May 2019 Update v3.msi
- If you want to manage Microsoft Edge settings using local Group Policy, copy all content (or only two files: MicrosoftEdge.admx and en-US\MicrosoftEdge.adml) from a folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 May 2019 Update v3\Policy Definitions to the local directory C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.
- If you want to use new administrative templates to manage Edge settings on a computers in the AD domain, copy the content of a local folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 May 2019 Update v3\Policy Definitions to the Group Policy Central Store folder on the domain controller (for example, \\theitbros.com\SYSVOL\theitbros.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions). Now you can create a new domain GPOs with Edge settings using Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)
After installing new administrative templates under section Computer Configuration > Administrative Template > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge, you will get all currently available Edge policy settings.
Group Policies for Chromium-based Edge
Microsoft recently released a preliminary version of local group policies to support in the new Microsoft Edge based on the Chromium project. These administrative templates set that will allow administrators to manage certain browser features in a production environment.
You can download a preview of ADMX files for Chromium-based Edge here.
It’s interestingly enough that over 180 GPO settings were provided for the Chromium-based Edge version, since the classical Edge had only about 60 policy parameters.
A full description of the Chromium-based Edge policies can be found in the microsoftedge_policy_list.html file in the archive with ADMX templates.
How to Enable/Disable History Saving in Microsoft Edge using GPO?
To disable browsing history in Microsoft Edge through Group Policy, use the following steps:
- Run the local (gpedit.msc) or domain group policy editor (gpmc.msc);
- Go to the GPO section Computer Configuration > Administrative Template > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge;
- Find a policy with the name Allow Saving History;
- Change its value from Not Configured to Disabled;
- Run the gpupdate command and restart Edge. Now the browser should not saving user’s browsing history.
How to Disable Microsoft Edge Pre-launch in Windows 10?
One of the features Microsoft is trying to draw attention is the ability of Edge browser to get it started quickly. Immediately after the Windows 10 boot, you can click on the Edge icon and it will open almost instantly.
You can disable pre-launch of the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10 through GPO. This will help to reduce the consumption of RAM and CPU on the computer.
To disable Microsoft Edge pre-launch on Windows 10 1809 and later:
- Open the policy “Allow Microsoft Edge to pre-launch at Windows startup, when the system is idle, and each time Microsoft Edge is closed”;
- Set its value to Enabled;
- In the Configure pre-launching option, select Prevent pre-launching;
- Save the change and restart your computer to take effect.