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?


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
  • Can this work if authentication is required? – Raúl Salinas-Monteagudo May 7 '19 at 7:15

First, run cmd as administrator to open a command prompt.

Command to copy proxy settings of current user to WinHttp:

netsh winhttp import proxy source =ie

To reset the proxy to default settings:

netsh winhttp reset proxy

To show proxy settings of current user:

netsh winhttp show proxy
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  • 4
    One liner: netsh winhttp import proxy source =ie – Vadzim May 22 '17 at 7:28

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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  • PsExec.exe -i -s regedit /s "%~dp0Internet Settings.reg" – Vadzim May 22 '17 at 7:26

You might want to try using ProxyCFG.EXE, which sets the proxy for any WinHTTP calls.

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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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  • 1
    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
  • This sets the current user (CU in HKCU), so not the local system user. – Ralph Bolton Jan 17 '19 at 14:45

The Same thing can be done much easier in this way-

& C:\windows\System32\bitsadmin.exe /Util /SetIEProxy LocalSystem Manual_proxy http://<proxyserver>:<proxy port> "<Any bypasses to be added>"
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