“The time has come the Ballmer said to talk of many things. That IE Maintenance has to go and Blue will ship in Spring.”
Wait – what! IE Maintenance has to go? Come again Mr. Ballmer – did you just say it is already gone?
If IE Maintenance is missing, how can I edit settings like a homepage? The easy answer is – use a Windows 7 GPMC. The best answer is – use a Windows 7 GPMC to migrate those settings to Group Policy Preferences or Administrative Templates.
Your first step is to get a list of GPOs containing IE Maintenance settings. In a Windows 7 GPMC, right click on your domain name and select search.
Under Search Items, specify user configuration. For condition, select contains. Finally, set Internet Explorer Branding as the Value. Press Add and then Search. After a few minutes, every GPO containing IE Maintenance settings will be returned. You can then select the save results button to export this list to a CSV. As a note, if you are using GPMC for Windows 8 – the value field will not populate. You will either need to use PowerShell to search or use GPMC for Windows 7 until this bug is fixed.
The hard part is now done. Now it is time for the tedious part. In GPMC (Windows 7), view a report for each GPO in your list. You will want to ensure that Internet Explorer Maintenance is indeed listed under User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\.
You will likely notice that some GPOs were listed in your report but do not show IE maintenance settings in a report of the GPO. This is because you have serious AD replication issues.
Just kidding. When you remove a setting in Group Policy, these settings are not instantly grabbed by clients. Because of this, GPOs will keep blank settings if you unconfigure certain CSEs. For example, you removed a setting for folder redirection. Three months goes by and a user returns from maternity leave. She logs into her computer and Group Policy sees the blank settings and makes adjustments. If the blank settings were not there, she would continue to apply the obsolete settings while everyone else has the current configs.
Coming back from that tangent, make a note of each setting that you configure in IE Maintenance. You will now need to edit each GPO containing IE Maintenance settings. Browse to Internet Explorer Maintenance – right click – and select Reset Browser Settings.
With your list of settings, you can now use this guide to migrate over to Administrative Templates or Group Policy Preferences: Internet Settings. And if you want to learn about more about Group Policy and how you can do more, then subscribe by email and get your guide to the Windows 8 Administrative Start Menu!