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When I first read that Group Policy Preferences can't be used for Internet Explorer 9, I thought that was just a misunderstanding. How could it be that such an important feature is not supported for Microsoft's latest web browser? Group Policy and Group Policy Preferences are one of the major reasons why many organizations stick with Internet Explorer even though good browser alternatives are now available.
But after installing the latest updates on Windows Server 2008 R2, I see that Group Policy Preferences are still only available for Internet Explorer 6-8. I don't know what is behind this. Is Microsoft giving up on Group Policy Preferences for Internet Explorer altogether, or will there be an update? A forum entry by MVP Alan Burchill seems to indicate there will be no such update. However, the following workaround allows you to keep working with Group Policy Preferences for Internet Explorer 9.
- Configure an Internet Explorer 8 setting in Group Policy Preferences. For instance, you can preset IE's homepage to https://4sysops.com (highly recommended ;-)). Don't forget to hit F6 after you entered the homepage.
- Navigate to Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Scripts (Logon/Logoff) and double-click Logon or Logoff. Next, click "Show Files."
- Navigate up to the User folders.
- Navigate down to the Preferences\InternetSettings folders.
- Edit (right-click) the InternetSettings files.
- Search for "max=184.108.40.206" in the text and replace it with "max=220.127.116.11". Save the file.
Note that this workaround won't make the "Internet Explorer 9" option appear when you add a new Internet Setting in Group Policy editor. You have to configure Internet Explorer 8 policy settings, which will also be used for Internet Explorer 9. Also note that you have to repeat the procedure described here whenever you create a new Group Policy Object.