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If I edit Proxy Settings through the Control Panel, the settings are stored in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ProxyEnable and ...\ProxyServer. These settings are of course not used when running as a service under LOCAL SYSTEM.

So I tried setting ProxyEnable and ProxyServer under HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\... (as well as HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\... and all the other users on the system), but that does not work.

How do I set the proxy settings for the LOCAL SYSTEM user?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Figured it out myself:

It is actually the value in Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Connections\DefaultConnectionSettings that is used.

Since that is not easily modified, you can modify the proxy settings for a user, export the registry key, modify the path in the exported file to HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18 and reimport it.

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This solved my problem, many thanks! I ended up writing a Java class to manipulate the DefaultConnectionSettings hex string, as I needed to set the proxy programmatically. – Andrew Swan Nov 29 '10 at 4:30

Copy IE proxy settings to WinHttp:

  • Run cmd as administrator:
    • netsh
    • winhttp
    • show proxy
    • import proxy source=ie
    • show proxy
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You might want to try using ProxyCFG.EXE, which sets the proxy for any WinHTTP calls.

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What versions of Windows have ProxyCFG.EXE? It's not in Windows 7, for example. Also, does IE use WinHTTP? – Andrew Swan Nov 26 '10 at 3:01
In Windows 7/Win 2008 R2 NetSH.exe is used for all proxy config stuff: – Christopher_G_Lewis Nov 29 '10 at 3:49

Another way, albeit much messier, is to use psexec to open a command prompt running as LOCAL SYSTEM, then from that open iexplore.exe, modify the settings appropriately.

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Reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v "ProxyEnable" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f

Reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v "ProxyServer" /t REG_SZ /d "http://procycorp.bac:80" /f

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Does that actually work now? 7 years ago when I last tried this, it just changed the values in the registry, but you had to change Connections\DefaultConnectionSettings to actually get Windows to use the procy server. – Rasmus Faber Oct 31 '15 at 6:29

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