I need to set the default home page for the entire domain via GPO. Where is the IE Home Page Policy located?
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 =
- 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_URLas 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 Pagesand
Default_Secondary_Page_URLregistry 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 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main to understand how they work.
Other ways you can set the IE home page:
- In the GPO editor, go to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Internet Settings. This may not work for all IE versions out of the box. You may have to update your Administrative Templates.
- In the GPO editor, go to User Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings -> Internet Explorer Maintenance. However, you may not have this anymore with newer Administrative Templates.
- Use the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) to create a customized IE build and deploy that.
- Use a logon script to apply the same registry settings listed above.
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.
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 -->
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.