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I need to set the default home page for the entire domain via GPO. Where is the IE Home Page Policy located?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are a few different ways to do it. Do you want to force everyone's home page, and disallow changes? Or do you just want to set a default home page that people can modify?

If you want to force a home page: (Do what HopelessN00b said)

  • Create a new GPO or edit the existing one. (I'm assuming you know how to do this already. Let me know if you don't.)
  • In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to User Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer.
  • Find the policy Disable changing home page settings.
  • Set it to Enabled, and specify the URL for your home page.
  • Once it applies, the option in IE will be greyed out on the client PC.

If you want to specify a default that people can change:

  • My preferred method would be to use Group Policy Preferences to set the necessary Registry values. (Others may disagree.)
  • In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Registry.
  • Right click -> New -> Registry Item
  • Action = Update
  • Hive = HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  • Key Path = Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  • Value Name = Start Page
  • Value Type = REG_SZ
  • Value Data = your Home Page URL
  • On the Common Tab, check Apply Once and Do not Re-Apply
  • This will set the home page by default for everyone, but the user will be free to edit it afterwards.
  • If you go this route, I also recommend that you set a value for Default_Page_URL as well, without checking Apply Once and Do not Re-Apply. This will give your users the ability to click the Use Default button in the IE settings and get back to the company home page.
  • You probably also want to delete the Secondary Start Pages and Default_Secondary_Page_URL registry values as well.
  • If you are unfamiliar with these registry values, it would probably be a good idea to open the Registry Editor and look at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main to understand how they work.

Other ways you can set the IE home page:

One thing to note about GPOs: Any of the settings in the "Preferences" sections of your GPO will only apply if you have the Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions and the corresponding dependencies installed. Windows 7-era PCs support this out of the box. However, Vista and XP machines need an update to provide this functionality. A fully updated machine should already have this installed, but if do a reinstall it will take a few patch-reboot cycles.

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In addition to using a Group Policy Preference, as suggested in Santi's answer, there's an option to do this via the GPO Administrative Templates as well, provided your clients are using at least IE5.

Using the Administrative Templates for IE, you need to navigate to : User Configuration --> Policies --> Administrative Templates --> Windows Components --> Internet Explorer, and the setting controlling the home page is called Disable changing home page settings. Enable this setting, and set the home page in the text field provided.

You may need to download the Administrative Templates pack that's applicable to your version of Windows, if you can't find the Administrative Templates folder.

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It depends what Windows version do you have. For windows 2008 is in User configuration/Preferences/Control Panel/Internet Settings and create a new group of settings. In 2003 is different but I think is similar on windows 2012 (never used it)

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