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Legacy Browser Support for Windows

3) Configure which browsers to open with LBS

Use the Group Policy Editor in Windows to set policies for which sites to open in an alternate browser from Chrome.

Requirements

  • The current version of the Legacy Browser Support Chrome extension and the native host add-on
  • Users should be on the latest stable release of Chrome

Setup Steps

  1. Download and install the ADM or ADMX template for Windows Group Policy Editor.

  2. (Optional) To use your Internet Explorer site list to control whether URLs open in Chrome or Internet Explorer, turn on Use IE Enterprise Mode site list if present. Otherwise, only URLs specified in the extension policy are used.

  3. Configure the "Hosts to Open In the Alternative Browser" policy by listing the URLs that should be opened in the alternative browser. This setting is also called "URLs To Redirect" in some places. See the documentation in the Group Policy Editor for details about how to specify the hosts and the configuration options below.

  4. Configure any other policies you need to further customize the behavior of the Chrome extension. If they are left unchanged, the defaults are:

    • Alternative Browser Arguments - none
      • (Optional) Use this to enter command line parameters. See the documentation included with the ADM templates for more information.
    • Alternative Browser Path - ${ie}
    • Chrome Arguments - none
    • Chrome Path - ${chrome}
    • Hosts to Open In Either Browser - none
      • (Optional) Specify a URL greylist by including the URLs that shouldn’t exclusively open in one browser or the other, such as a Single sign-on page. For more information, see the documentation included with the ADM templates.
    • Hosts to Open In the Alternative Browser - Enter the URLs to redirect (see the sections below for instructions).
  5. Verify that the policy works as expected and push to your early adopter group.

Configure Chrome as the default browser (recommended)

If you want to use Chrome as the default browser (recommended), you can specify which URLs you want to open in an alternate browser by creating filters with the "Hosts to Open In the Alternative Browser" policy. Entries need to be either of the following:

  • Host-name part: Specify complete domain names like "www.example.com" or parts of domain names like "example.com” or even "example". Use this to open entire sites with your legacy browser, such as your intranet. Wildcards are not supported yet for parts of domain names.
  • URL prefix: Specify the full URL and port (if needed). For example, "http://login.example.com" or "https://www.example.com:8080/login/". Use this if you only need to whitelist a small number of specific sites to open in your alternative browser, and make sure you enter the URL exactly.

You need to run Chrome with the LBS extension installed each time you update the policies. This allows the local machine to fetch the latest policies to work with the Legacy Browser Support Chrome extension and native host add-on.

Or, Configure Internet Explorer as the default browser

If you’re using Chrome as your default browser (recommended), use the default settings above. If you want to use Internet Explorer as your default browser, set the following settings:

  • Alternative Browser Arguments - none
  • Alternative Browser Path - ${ie}
  • Chrome Arguments - none
  • Chrome Path - ${chrome}
  • Hosts to Open In Either Browser - none

Additionally, enter the wildcard “*” (without quotes) and specify which sites you want to open in Chrome with "!" (without quotes). For example, if you want to only open your company’s G Suite mail in Chrome, and everything else in IE, add two entries to the "Hosts to Open In the Alternative Browser" policy:

  1. *
  2. !google
  3. !gmail.com
Even if you’re using IE as the default browser, you need to run Chrome at least once to fetch the policies. And run Chrome each time you change the policies, so that the policy updates are fetched by the local computers to work with the Legacy Browser Support Chrome extension and native host add-on.

Advanced Legacy Browser Support Configuration

LBS Configuration Options

Wildcards can be used in the policy ''Hosts to Open In Either Browser". This feature allows a user to browse most of the Internet with the browser he refers, while still opening certain URLs with a browser specified by the admin. For example, if you want to open all URLs with “example.com” in them in an alternate browser and all pages with “google” in the URL in Chrome, you can set that up by doing the following:

Examples of how to use wildcards:

URLs to trigger transition:

  1. "!google"
  2. "example.com"

URLs not to trigger transition:

  1. "*"

The first entry in the list uses a negative entry in the URL list to specify the pages that should be opened in Chrome, and the second entry uses a positive entry for the alternative browser. In this example, any page that doesn’t have “example.com or “google” in the URL can be opened in both browsers.

How LBS handles conflicting rules: Rules are evaluated by their order of precision, so that mail.yahoo.com will be guaranteed to be evaluated before "!yahoo.com".

Support for mixed-case URLs. All URLs are subject to proper normalization. This means that domain names are lowercase, whereas paths are preserved as specified. This means EXAMPLE.COM is the same as example.com but example.com/somefile is not the same as example.com/SOMEFILE.

Prefixes are supposed to span at least to the end of the domain name. This means that http://www is assumed to mean http://www/ and will not match any domain starting with www. To match domains by only their prefixes, use a specification like "www".

Resources

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