Oct 12, 2007

Posted by in Tech Tips | 12 Comments

Google search Group Policy add in for Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

Over the last few weeks we have been tidying up some things in Active Directory to try and just make users lives easier. One of the things that is mildly irritating about Internet Explorer 7 is the “first run” page and the default search engine setting (Live search just doesn’t perform as well does it…). To control IE7 with group policy you will need to get the Microsoft IE7 ADM files (here.) These let you disable things like the start screen or change the option tabs that are displayed. Using the default templates you can specify that users are not able to change the actual search engine used.
Microsoft has a good technical article here but it is a little confusing.

Shown below is the code required to make Google the default & only search provider for IE7. To use this simply copy the code & place in a new .ADM file using notepad.

Alternatively you can download it here

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<span class="caps">CLASS</span> <span class="caps">USER</span>
<span class="caps">CATEGORY</span> !!WindowsComponents
<span class="caps">CATEGORY</span> !!InternetExplorer
 
<span class="caps">POLICY</span> !!PopulateSearchProviderList
			#if version &gt;= 4
			<span class="caps">SUPPORTED</span> !!SUPPORTED_IE7
			#endif
			<span class="caps">EXPLAIN</span> !!IE_Explain_PopulateSearchProviderList
			<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes”
			<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> “Version”
			<span class="caps">VALUEON</span> <span class="caps">NUMERIC</span> 1
<span class="caps">ACTIONLISTON</span>
<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes”
			     	 <span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> DefaultScope	<span class="caps">VALUE</span> “{51FBBBAD-F020-4402-8D0F-8BBE16F168DB}”
 
				<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{51FBBBAD-F020-4402-8D0F-8BBE16F168DB}”
				<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> DisplayName  <span class="caps">VALUE</span> “Google”
				<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> <span class="caps">URL</span>               <span class="caps">VALUE</span> “http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&amp;q={searchTerms}&amp;meta=”
			<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">ACTIONLISTON</span>
		<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">POLICY</span>
<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">CATEGORY</span>
<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">CATEGORY</span>
 
<span class="caps">CLASS</span> <span class="caps">MACHINE</span>
<span class="caps">CATEGORY</span> !!WindowsComponents
<span class="caps">CATEGORY</span> !!InternetExplorer
<span class="caps">POLICY</span> !!PopulateSearchProviderList
			#if version &gt;= 4
			<span class="caps">SUPPORTED</span> !!SUPPORTED_IE7
			#endif
			<span class="caps">EXPLAIN</span> !!IE_Explain_PopulateSearchProviderList
			<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes”
			<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> “Version”
			<span class="caps">VALUEON</span> <span class="caps">NUMERIC</span> 1
<span class="caps">ACTIONLISTON</span>
<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes”
			     	 <span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> DefaultScope	<span class="caps">VALUE</span> “{51FBBBAD-F020-4402-8D0F-8BBE16F168DB}”
 
				<span class="caps">KEYNAME</span> “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{51FBBBAD-F020-4402-8D0F-8BBE16F168DB}”
				<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> DisplayName  <span class="caps">VALUE</span> “Google”
				<span class="caps">VALUENAME</span> <span class="caps">URL</span>               <span class="caps">VALUE</span> “http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&amp;q={searchTerms}&amp;meta=”
			<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">ACTIONLISTON</span>
		<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">POLICY</span>   <span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">CATEGORY</span>
<span class="caps">END</span> <span class="caps">CATEGORY</span>
 
[strings]
<span class="caps">SUPPORTED</span>_IE7=“At least Internet Explorer 7.0”
WindowsComponents=“Windows Components”
InternetExplorer=“Internet Explorer”
PopulateSearchProviderList=“Populate List of search providers”
IE_Explain_PopulateSearchProviderList=“This policy setting will allow you to populate a list of search providers that will be displayed in the Internet Explorer search box.\n\n If you enable this policy setting and if the “Restrict search providers to a specific list of search providers” Group Policy setting is enabled, this list will be the only list that appears in the Internet Explorer drop-down list. If the “Add a specific list of search providers to the user’s search provider list” Group Policy setting is enabled, this list will be added to the user’s list of search providers.\n\n If you disable this policy setting or do not configure it, users will have complete freedom to create their own search provider list.”

Import the ADM by running Group Policy editor and then right clicking on the “Administrative Templates” container, pick “Add/Remove Templates” and then add-in the ADM file you created earlier.

After successfully importing the ADM file you can find the settings under:
User Config – Windows components – Internet explorer – Populate List of Search Providers

  1. Marcus Holland says:

    Thanks so much for making this available. It has saved me a bit of work! It’s a shame you can’t make Google the default choice, without enforcing it as the only option. Such is group policy 🙂

  2. Dave Head says:

    Thanks this is great,
    One question, I have changed the google url in the adm to google.com.au instead of .co.uk but when a user searches it still shows the UK google results. Is there anything else that has to be changed?

  3. Hi,
    Try changing the url to:
    “http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}”

    and see what happens?

  4. Thanks for this, you’ve also saved me a bit of work…..

  5. Does anyone know what URL to use for searching with just google.com?

  6. Hi Ender,
    From what I can tell the URL above (3 comments up) should do what you need, did you try it?

    Ben.

  7. Thanks for this..works perfect. Great Job!

  8. I’ve found that it doesn’t set the default search provider on an existing profile, only when creating a new profile. Am I the only one experiening this?

  9. Hey Ben, this is great. Thank you!

    Do you have a version of this ADM that will work with IE8?

    Thanks

  10. Hello Chad,
    I’ve just done an updated post that covers IE8 on Vista or Windows 7… let me know if it works for you!
    You can find it here:
    http://www.bibble-it.com/2010/05/18/vista-windows-7-custom-google-search-engine-policy-ie7-ie8

    Thanks,

    Ben

  11. Hi THat looks great but if I wanted to use a different search engine such as http://www.primaryschoolict.com/hi.php do just need to replace it in the URL above like this

    “http://www.primaryschoolict.com/hi.php/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}”

    Many thanks

    Simon

  12. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this site regularly, this website is really pleasant and the visitors are truly sharing pleasant thoughts.

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