IE7 Group Policy Settings

After when deploying Internet Explorer 7 around your site through a service such as WSUS, there are immediate considertaions that have to be dealt with. The main one being configuring settings for IE7.

It is possible to download the Internet Explorer Administration Toolkit (IEAK), but when dealing with IE7 that has been installed on computers automatically – that’s not what you want to hear.

After installing IE7 on one of our servers, I went to the group policy to see if there were any new settings. As such, the important ones didn’t seem to exist:

  • Configure the phishing filter
  • Disable the ‘First run’ Page

Obviously, there are a number of settings that administrators would want to take control of.

Thankfully, there are two ways of getting these settings in group policy. The first is to simply install Windows Vista as a workstation and use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC.MSC) which is bundled with Vista. This has all of the IE settings.

If you don’t have a Vista system, you can download an up-to-date MSI of the Administrative Templates for Internet Explorer 7 for Windows. This will install the inetres.adm file in the specified folder.

To apply it to the machine you are working on (pre-Vista, of course), copy the ADM file to %systemroot%\inf. Run gpedit.msc and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer.

Some of the useful settings are:

  • Prevent Performance of First Run Customized settings to disable the first run page
  • Turn of Managing Phishing filter to enable the phishing filter and configure its actions
  • Turn on the menu bar by default to stop people asking you where the menu bar is
  • Prevent Participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, another default from the first run page
  • Moving the menu bar above the navigation bar to put the menu bar in its proper place, above the address bar

Using the group policy configuration is a much more practical way of configuring IE7 than the registry hacks that I’ve seen floating around where people are struggling to find the group policy settings for IE7.

There are there! Honest!