Tips and Resources

Google Chrome MSI deployment via Group Policy (GPO)

Installing Google Chrome on all the computers in your network using group policies (GPO)

Prepare Google Chrome Files

Download the latest Google Chrome msi file from:

This download includes the msi installers and the ADMX templates for Group Policy deployment.

Customise Google Chrome

Load the ADM files into your Group Policy environment to allow management of user's Google Chrome settings.

Set Google Chrome User Data Path to Roaming User Data

Google Chrome will by default save all the user's data in the local app data folder - which is no good if users use multiple computers on the network. Google have a policy setting to store certain roaming data in a small file in the user's roaming app data. To enable this option:

User Configuration - Google/Google Chrome

  • Enable the creation of roaming copies for Google Chrome profile data - Set this to Enabled
  • Set disk cache directory - Set this to : ${local_app_data}\GoogleChromeCache

This will create a small file called profile.pb in the \\<path to users roaming profiles>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Note: Setting the Enable the creation of roaming copies for Google Chrome profile data option will disable the ability of users to sync their Chrome settings with an online Google account.

Note: Google Chrome does not use system environment variables. If you try to use standard variables, Chrome will usually crash, or not load pages correctly. To overcome this, you need to uses it's own variables for system paths. E.g:

  • %APPDATA% = ${roaming_app_data}
  • %LOCALAPPDATA% = ${local_app_data}
  • %USERNAME% =  ${user_name}
  • %COMPUTERNAME% = ${machine_name}
  • %USERPROFILE% = ${profile}
  • %PROGRAMFILES% =  ${program_files}
  • %WINDIR% =  ${windows}
  • ${documents} = The “Documents” folder for the current user. (“C:\Users\Administrator\Documents”)
  • ${global_app_data} = The system AppData folder. (“C:\ProgramData”)

Google Chrome Set Default Search Engine

To prevent the search engine selection box form appearing on the user's first launch, and to force the Google search engine use the following group policy settings:

User Configuration - Google/Google Chrome/Default search provider:

  • Default search provider name: Google
  • Default search provider icon:
  • Default search provider instant URL: "{searchTerms}"
  • Default search provider search URL: "{searchTerms}"
  • Default search provider suggest URL: "{searchTerms}"

Google Chrome Set Homepage

User Configuration - Google/Google Chrome/Startup pages

  • Action on startup: Open home page

User Configuration - Google/Google Chrome/Home page

  • Configure the home page URL: <your homepage> eg
  • Use New Tab Page as homepage: Disabled

Other settings that I prefer to configure for end users

User Configuration -Google/Google Chrome

  • Prevent app promotions from appearing on the new tab page: Enabled
  • Set Chrome as Default Browser: Disabled
  • Show Home button on toolbar: Enabled

Deploy Google Chrome

Copy the msi to your deployment share, and add the msi to the software deployment GPO.


Deploy Google Chrome Extensions

Obtain the extension CRX file

The first step in deploying an extension to your network deployment of chrome is to obtain the .crx file of your desired extension. I have found a few ways of doing this (some much more difficult than others). The easiest way I have found is to:

1. Find the extension ID of your desired extension. This is the unique ID of the extension in the Chrome webstore. You can see this ID in the URL of the extension ie:

or, Open the extensions list in Chrome; tick the Developer Mode tick box and then click the arrow next to the extension you want to deploy - the extension ID will be underneath the extension's heading.

At this point, it is worth making note of the extension's version number too, as you will need this later on in the deployment.

2. Open a browser other than chrome - Firefox will work fine. Paste the following line into the address bar, replacing the ----- with the extension ID

Press enter to access this URL; you will be prompted to save the .crx file.

Copy this .crx file to your deployment shared folder eg \\Server\SoftwareDeployment\ChromeExtensions\<filename>.crx

Deploy Extension using Windows Registry

Once the crx file is copied to the server, you can start the deployment by adding the following registry keys to the machines you wish to deploy your extension:


Create a new key (folder) under this key that is named the same as the extension ID, ie bgapjbbdaijoijbmhlpjhilaamenipao

In this key create two Strings (REG_SZ):

  • path - value: <UNC path to the extension file> ie: \\Server\SoftwareDeployment\ChromeExtensions\YoutubeDownloader_11_0.crx
  • version - value: version number of the extension (as noted above) ie: 11.0

These reg keys can be saved as a .reg file that can be imported using a computer startup script.

For example, the .reg file will look like:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Google Chrome for Business / Enterprise:

Google Chrome MSI:

Google Chrome Group Policy ADM ADMX templates: