Customise Google Chrome using Admin Templates via Intune

Hello there (obi wan voice), back in July 2020 and my 2nd ever post on this blog I demonstrated how you could leverage Microsoft Intune custom OMA-URI’s to deploy customisations for Google Chrome, that post is still very much valid but with the MEM team at Microsoft have recently introduced the Google Chrome policies into administrative templates, which makes it little easier to configure, so this post will be how we can deploy the very same settings as our previous post but without all the heavy lifting of ingesting ADMX files and working out all those custom OMA-URI’s, let’s get started!

Objectives

As per our previous posts, we need to deploy the following Google Chrome configurations:

  • Deploy corporate-managed favourites
  • Disable default browser check
  • Disable outdated plugins
  • Enable the bookmark bar
  • Force the Windows 10 accounts extension
  • Hide the app’s icon in the bookmark bar
  • Set a specific page to load on startup
  • Set a specific homepage

Creating the Administrative Template configuration profile

First step is to create the Administrative Template configuration profile which will contain all of configuration settings for Google Chrome, to do this, log into the MEM portal, browse to devices, then configuration profiles and then click create profile:

Creating the configuration profile for Intune to manage google chrome.

Select a platform of Windows 10 and later and then a profile type of Templates and finally, select Administrative Templates:

Name and set your description for your profile:

Now we shall see each policy available under either the Computer or User configurations for Google:

I will now go through all of the settings based on our objectives.

Managed Favourites (aka bookmarks)

Find the policy Managed Bookmarks and import your code:

Here is also an example code:

[
  {
    "toplevel_name": "Let's ConfigMgr Favourites"
  }, 
      {
        "url": "https://letsconfigmgr.com", 
        "name": "Let's ConfigMgr Website"
      },
	        {
        "url": "https://m365x092173.sharepoint.com/sites/SalesAndMarketing", 
        "name": "Sales & Marketing Team Site"
      },
	  	  	        {
        "url": "https://m365x092173.sharepoint.com/sites/Retail", 
        "name": "Retail Team Site"
      },
	  	  	  	  	        {
        "url": "https://web.yammer.com/main/letsconfigmgr.com", 
        "name": "Let's ConfigMgr Yammer Portal"
      },
  {
    "name": "Microsoft Portals", 
    "children": [
      {
        "url": "https://portal.office.com", 
        "name": "Office 365"
      },
      {
        "url": "https://passwordreset.microsoftonline.com/", 
        "name": "Password Reset Portal"
		},	  
      {
        "url": "https://aka.ms/mfasetup", 
        "name": "MFA Setup"
		},	  
      {
        "url": "https://myapplications.microsoft.com", 
        "name": "MyApps"
		},
		      {
        "url": "https://portal.manage.microsoft.com/", 
        "name": "Endpoint Manager Portal"
      }
    ]
  }
]

Note: Want to deploy favourites to other browsers? See my previous posts on how to do this for Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.

Disable Default Browser Check

Find the Set Google Chrome as Default Browser policy and set this to Disabled:

Disable outdated plugins

This policy has now been removed from Google since our original posting.

Enable the bookmark bar

Find the Enable Bookmark Bar policy and set this to Enabled:

Force Browser Extensions

For this example, I will force the Windows 10 accounts extension to be installed, you can grab these identifiers from going to the Google Web Store, selecting the extension you wish and then copying the ID from the URL, once you have this, find the Configure the list of force-installed apps and extensions policy, enable it and then add the ID’s to this section:

Hide the ‘Apps’ icon in the bookmark bar

Find Show the apps shortcut in the bookmark bar policy and set this to Disabled:

Set specific URL to load on start-up

Two policies are required for this functionality, the first one is the Action on startup, set to this to Enabled and select the option to Open a list of URLs:

The 2nd policy is to set the URL’s itself, find the URLs to open on startup policy, set to Enabled and add in your URLs as desired:

Set a specific homepage URL

Three policies for this, one to set the URL, the other to show the home button and final is to disable homepage as a new tab, first policy to find is Configure the home page URL, set this to Enabled and enter in the desired URL:

The second policy is Show Home button on toolbar, set this to Enabled:

Final policy is Use New Tab Page as homepage, set this to Disabled:

You should now have the following policies:

Once your set, deploy these to your test devices to confirm functionality.

Conclusion

That’s it! Hope this has given you an idea of what Google Chrome policies you could potentially apply to your devices via Microsoft Intune, don’t forget to test before rolling out to all devices, for troubleshooting, you can open up the following page within Google Chrome to see the resultant of policy: chrome://policy

Until next time!

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