Missing IE Maintenance (Preference Mode) in GPO

Posted on 2014-03-25
Last Modified: 2014-03-28
The Main Policy was created many years ago. In the summary report, it clearly shows Internet Explorer Maintenance (Preference Mode)>URLs/Important URLs>Home page URL (set to school web page).

Editing the GPO, the option to change the settings "Internet Explorer Maintenance" under User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\ does not appear. Verified it does not exist on any of the other GPOs, as well.

All Browser settings have been moved to another policy, with the exception of this setting because it can't be reset or removed (or seen).

How can I remove this setting altogether from this policy?

Other info if needed: The GP Mgmt is v., running on virtual domain controller Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
Question by:cssunetadmin
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Peter Hutchison
Peter Hutchison earned 250 total points
ID: 39953664
Login to a PC or Server with Internet Explorer 9 or less, then you should be able to view the IE Maintenance options again.
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39955323
You must have installed IE 10 on 2008 R2 DC
With IE 10, IE maintenance is gone from GPO and also IE 10 do not understand IE maintenance
The one option could be install GPMC on windows 2003 \ XP \ Win 7 \ 2008 R2 member server where IE 10 is not installed and from there remove this settings and wait for 1 or two days so that it will get applied to all workstations and then you can remove that policy

Also if you wanted to set these kind of polices in feature, then check below EE link


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39955827
Both answers are correct, although in this situation, the solutions provided are not feasible. This is the only location where group policy is administered to the school. The Main Policy was created a long time ago and contains certificates and more touchy items than I care to mess with. It would not be wise of me to remove the entire policy.

I should have added that I already knew about IE needs to be version 9 or less, just can't figure out how to accomplish that without jeopardizing the stability of the system. I was hoping someone had a quick registry hack for just the home page setting... or a tweaked adm to install to change the home page to nothing, then remove the adm.

Mahesh, thank you for the link regarding Win 8. We are not there yet, but it will be something to refer to in the future.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 39955957
Please check below GPO setting, you can definitely do that with your existing 2008 R2 GPMC

Enable the setting and keep it blank, It should work with all versions of IE


Author Comment

ID: 39956056
Hi Mahesh, the problem is that the old homepage setting is still existing on the Main Policy GPO for the IE Maintenance (which we can see in report, but not touch in settings). When we enter the new homepage in, like you suggest in the link, the old still applies. Even with a gpupdate /force.

That is what lead us to posting the question in Experts-Exchange.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Peter Hutchison
ID: 39956096
It is possible to uninstall the IE 10 installation and revert to a previous version of Internet Explorer. It will need a reboot to do this. This will only apply for Windows Server 2008/ 2008 R2 or Windows 7 machines.

To uninstall IE10:
1. Open Control Panel
2. Select Programs and Features
3. Select View installed updates
4. Locate 'Windows Internet Explorer 10' in the list
5. Select Uninstall.

Author Comment

ID: 39956121

Thank you, I was thinking this might be one of the offered solutions. I am nervous to try this without knowing what impact it will have on the one server that is controlling the GPOs for the network. So many settings are attached to IE (intranet zones, etc.) in some way or another.

I would like to have this as my last resort, though. It seems like a logical idea.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 39956410
If you have any workstation (Win7 \ Win XP) without IE 10, you can probably install GPMC on that and then undone that setting from main GPO
I am sure it will work and actually same is communicated in my earlier comment


Author Comment

ID: 39956492
Mahesh, so are you saying take any computer (Win7) that is on the network, (downgrading to something IE9 or less), install the GPMC on it, add all the computers from the domain/network (wouldn't there be a conflict of policy management?), change the setting for Home Page on a new policy that allows for IE Maintenance changes... wait a few days, then remove it...

...and this will remove the Home Page setting from the original Windows 2008 server Main Policy??

This doesn't seem to be logical to me. Please help me understand how the setting from one GPMC affects the settings on the other GPMC. Thank you.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 39956535
Your comment:
add all the computers from the domain/network

Why you are adding all computers and where .......its not required at all

All you need to do, take any win7 domain joined machine without IE 10, install GPMC and simply edit your main policy and remove \ keep blank that setting from GPO

Once you done from there it will automatically get removed from DC as in reality you are connecting to policy on DC for this task (Because GPO does exists on windows 2008 R2 DC and not on Win7 workstation, workstation is just management workstation)

Then allow workstations to logoff \ reboot for some days and check if setting is removed from client computers or not

No need to remove GPO as it might contains another settings

Hope that clear now


Author Comment

ID: 39956566
Thank you for providing those instructions. I was over thinking it. Let me give it a try this evening and I'll get back with the results.

Author Comment

ID: 39962089
A good night's sleep allowed me to get past my mental block. So yes, I created a virtual Windows 7 machine and joined it to the domain (which happens to be off site), first uninstalled the IE Update (to v11) from Programs and Features (view installed updates), then verified IE 9 or less was under Windows Features (happened to be IE 8), installed the Remote Server Administrative Tools, but just the Group Policy Management. Then, low and behold, as you predicted, the correct IE Maintenance section was available for editing. Cleared the wrong homepage out. Went into the actual Group Policy Management Console and the setting is gone, homepage removed, and everything is right with the world. Thank you for hanging in with me on this.

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