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Force IE 10 to be the default browser via 2012 GPO

Posted on 2014-04-29
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Last Modified: 2014-12-05
I would like to force our computers to use IE 10 by default, and I would like to prevent our users from changing their default to Chrome/Firefox...etc. I would like to accomplish this via GPO if possible.

I've looked at links like this, but these settings in Group Policy are not available for me as I have 2012 installed.
Possible Options

I will be forcing this setting for Windows 7 x64 machines.

Accomplishing this via a startup script, or logon script, would be OK, but I would prefer a GPO setting instead.  :)

Thanks Experts!

-IT_Crowd
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Question by:IT_Crowd
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40031806
Hold off doing this for a while and use Chrome please

Microsoft has released a security advisory that warns about remote code executions in various versions of Internet Explorer.
"This issue allows remote code execution if users visit a malicious website with an affected browser," Microsoft said. "This would typically occur by an attacker convincing someone to click a link in an email or instant message."
The bug affects Internet Explorer 6 - 11, though according to security firm FireEye, "the attack is targeting IE9 through IE11."
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2457206,00.asp
Zero-Day Internet Explorer Vulnerability Let Loose in the Wild
http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/zero-day-internet-vulnerability-let-loose-wild
Symantics offers a patch
Symantec has also provided a batch file that you can download to automate the command-line and you can get it here: Zero-Day Internet Explorer Vulnerability Let Loose in the Wild
http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/zero-day-internet-vulnerability-let-loose-wild
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by:IT_Crowd
ID: 40031940
Yes, we've also heard about this. We are going to wait until this issue is patched.  I still would like to know how this can be accomplished though.   :)
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40032527
IT_Crowd--
Adobe offers a new version of Flash Player that should prevent the zero day problem on IE.
https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb14-13.html
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by:Merete
Merete earned 166 total points
ID: 40033599
I believe you would do it through the gpedit.msc
Pity though as Chrome is better and safer than Internet Explorer.
Open run type in gpedit.msc
 User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and then select Internet Explorer in the left column of the Group Policy editor.
Double-click Disable changing default browser check in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
prevent changing default search providerFurther down the list is All Settings
You can also set higher security
I don't know how to add this to all users hopefully you do.
I sourced this as a reference
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/internet-explorer-group-policy-editor
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by:IT_Crowd
ID: 40034370
Thank you - I will try this. Unfortunately, we live in a world were certain applications rely on Internet Explorer. Our accounting package, for instance, requires IE. Our Intranet, and other sub applications - require IE. Trust me, we aren't doing this because we LOVE Internet Explorer....
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40036081
Thank you, yes I understand.
According to Microsoft users can protect themselves against this exploit by simply enforcing>Enabled Protected Mode in the Security tab of IE.
You should also be aware of this flash virus that targets all browsers
Remove “WARNING! Your Flash Player may be out of date” virus
http://malwaretips.com/blogs/warning-your-flash-player-may-be-out-of-date-virus/
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Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 334 total points
ID: 40041015
Setting it as default browser is possible via GPO. But MS would not be MS if they hadn't made this complicated. You have to assign all file types (.htm, .html,.mht,...) and all protocols (http,https,ftp,...) to internet explorer.
There is a nice way with win8, that is at least somewhat easy: http://blogs.technet.com/b/mrmlcgn/archive/2013/02/26/windows-8-associate-a-file-type-or-protocol-with-a-specific-app-using-a-gpo-e-g-default-mail-client-for-mailto-protocol.aspx

...but you still run win7...
File types: http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2011/09/how-to-use-group-policy-to-change-open-with-file-associations/
I am not sure if we can assign protocols in a similar way.
Maybe also read http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/89803-set-default-browser-in-registry-correctly-handles-url-files/ which supplies a scripted way to do it.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40041035
The exploit was patched last week my time
If you have automatic updates install enabled it would have been installed on Friday my time. Otherwise check your windows updates you'll see one there for IE.
Microsoft has issued a patch for the Internet Explorer flaw that lets hackers take control of your computer -- even for users of Windows XP.
http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/01/technology/security/internet-explorer-bug/
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Accepted Solution

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McKnife earned 334 total points
ID: 40041047
And to add to my solution: that's how you do it with the protocols - by manipulating the registry which can be deployed using group policy preferences: http://superuser.com/questions/368814/how-do-i-change-my-default-browser-to-an-unlisted-program-in-windows-7
Last thing missing: what are those file types? :)
file types
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Expert Comment

by:JoeEdafio
ID: 40483766
No browser is completely safe!
Browsing habits and reading and understanding messages within are critically important along with common sense.
If it doesn't look right it probably isn't....

Google Chrome. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/07/google-chrome-security_n_3719233.html

Most of the changes in Group Policy that you propose are not supported on version of IE after IE9.
Versions IE9 and prior  do not have the added safety features of IE 10 & IE11
IE11 is a pain because many sites do not work with it.
So FireFox is another viable option... but then again refer to the first statement...
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