How to manage the new Microsoft Edge through Group Policy

Learn how to control and update the settings for the Chromium flavor of Edge via Group Policy.

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If you have deployed the new Chromium version of Microsoft Edge throughout your organization, you'll need a way to manage and update the browser settings for all users and computers. If your organization uses Active Directory, one option is to control Edge through Group Policy. Microsoft offers the necessary Group Policy templates to install and configure through your Group Policy Editor.

SEE: How to protect against 10 common browser threats (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

How to download and extract the Group Policy templates

A good place to start is the website for Microsoft Edge documentation. You can pick up tips and tricks on how to configure Microsoft Edge, how to manage the browser's security and privacy settings, and how to troubleshoot issues with Edge.

  1. Browse to the Edge for Business site

  2. Click the drop-down menu for Select Channel/Build, and choose the version of Edge you plan to use, such as the latest stable build. 

  3. At the Select Platform drop-down menu, select your operating system. 

  4. Click the Download button if you need to download Edge. Otherwise, click the link to Get Policy Files (Figure A).

  5. Figure A

    figure-a.jpg

  6. At the window to Download Microsoft Edge Policy File, click the button to Accept And Download. 

  7. Save the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates.cab file to your computer, and double-click the downloaded cab file to drill down to the zip file. 

  8. Right-click the zip file, and select Extract, then right-click the extracted zip file, and select Extract All.

  9. Open the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates folder to view the extracted folders and files. 

  10. Drill down through the HTML folder and the sub-folder for your region and language (e.g., en-US). Inside, you'll find two HTML files: msedgepolicylist.html and msedgeupdatepolicylist.html. 

  11. Open both files, and you'll see all of the Group Policy setting names and captions for Microsoft Edge. Keep these pages handy for reference as you configure the policies for the browser (Figure B).

Figure B

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How to store the ADMX templates locally

You'll need to copy the ADMX template files for Edge to the appropriate folder or container for your Group Policy administration. If you use a Central Store for Group Policy, the steps are different than if you use a single computer or a handful of computers with locally stored templates. The Microsoft Support article, How to create and manage the Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Windows, explains the Central Store option. I'll cover the option for storing the templates locally.

  1. In the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates folder, open the subfolder for your operating system (e.g., Windows). 

  2. Open the subfolder for admx. 

  3. In another File Explorer or Windows Explorer window, open the folder for your Group Policy templates, which is C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. 

  4. Drag and drop or copy and paste the msedge.admx and msedgeupdate.admx files from the admx folder to the PolicyDefinitions folder (Figure C).

Figure C

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How to store the ADML templates locally

You'll need to copy the ADML language files for Edge to the appropriate spot. 

  1. In the first window, move to the subfolder for your region and language in the admx folder. 

  2. In the other window for C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions, open the subfolder for your region and language. 

  3. Drag and drop or copy and paste the msedge.adml and msedgeupdate.adml files to the subfolder under PolicyDefinitions (Figure D).

Figure D

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How to view the Edge template files under Computer Configuration

The Edge template files automatically load, with those for machine-specific settings stored under Computer Configuration.

  1. Open your local Group Policy editor by typing gpedit.msc in the search field.

  2. Go to the following location: Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates. You'll find a few subfolders for different Edge settings, including Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Edge – Default Settings, and Microsoft Edge Update. 

  3. Open each of the three folders to view the subfolders and settings inside (Figure E).

Figure E

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How to view the Edge template files under User Configuration

The Edge template files automatically load, with those for user-specific settings stored under User Configuration.

  1. Open your local Group Policy editor by typing gpedit.msc in the search field.

  2. Go to User Configuration | Administrative Templates. You'll see two folders for Edge: Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge – Default Settings. 

  3. Open each folder to view the subfolders and settings inside (Figure F).

Figure F

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How to configure the Group Policy settings for Microsoft Edge

Configuring the necessary settings is the harder part. To help you with this task, refer to the msedgepolicylist.html and msedgeupdatepolicylist.html files. You can also browse to the Microsoft Edge - Policies page and the Microsoft Edge - Update policies page for information and guidance on each individual setting.

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