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Manage Chrome Apps by organizational unit

User settings lets you configure the settings and policies for Chrome Apps at the organizational unit (org unit) level, such as force-installing apps and extensions and specifying apps and extensions that your users can install. 

When you manage apps using User settings, you start by selecting the org unit; when you manage apps using App management, you start by selecting the app.

From the User settings page, you can:

  • Block apps and extensions that you don't want users to install.
  • Specify apps and extensions that are automatically installed (force-installed) on user devices.
  • Specify apps and extensions that users can install.
  • Pin apps and extensions to the Chrome launcher.
  • Set a Chrome Web Store custom homepage for your users.
  • Allow users to publish private apps that are restricted to your domain in the Chrome Web Store.

Note: The Chrome Web Store settings only work for organizational units that have the Chrome Web Store setting enabled in Organization & users > Services.

To manage policies and settings for Chrome Apps at the org unit:
  1. Sign in to the Admin console.
  2. Click Device management > Chrome management > User settings.
    You see the org units in your domain and the settings you can configure for those users.
  3. Select the org unit where you want to configure settings.
    If you want to configure policies and settings for everyone in the org unit, select the top-level org unit. Otherwise select one of the child org units.

Configure policies and settings

By default, users can install any extension or application. As administrator, you can block specific apps and extensions, or block all apps and extensions except for specific ones that you approve. You can also force install specific apps and extensions. Your users won't be able to uninstall any items added to the force install list.

  • To block specific apps and extensions, select Allow all apps and extensions except the ones I block (the default selection), click the Manage link next to Allowed Apps and Extensions, then choose the items to block.
  • To block most apps and extensions, select the option Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow, click the Manage link next to Allowed Apps and Extensions, then choose the items to allow.
  • To pin installed apps or extensions to the Chrome launcher, click Manage pinned apps, then choose the items to pin.
  • To force install specific apps and extensions, click Manage force-installed apps and choose the items to force install.

Changes in how settings are inherited

Before March 2015, you couldn’t add apps to a child org unit and still inherit existing apps and their policies from a parent. The inheritance model was updated and now each app in a child org unit can have inherited or overridden settings from a parent org unit. For details, see How are settings inherited?

Select apps and extensions for your users

You identify the specific apps and extensions to block, allow, or force install using the Chrome Web Apps & Extensions dialog box that appears when you click one of the Manage links. The text below the dialog box title indicates whether you are selecting blocked apps and extensions, allowed apps and extensions, or force-installed apps and extensions.

  • Before you can select extensions, the Chrome Web Store service (under Additional Google Services in your Admin console) must be turned on for your organization. For details, see Turn Additional Google Services on or off.
  • Apps and extensions added to the force install list will bypass the list of blocked apps and extensions. In other words, Chrome apps force installed via the Admin console, Google Play for Education, or Chrome GPO ExtensionInstallBlackList take precedence over apps you've blacklisted.
  • The message next to the Manage link identifies the number of items you select.

Chrome app list in user settings

You'll find most of the apps and extensions you need in the Chrome Web Store, but you can also install third-party apps and extensions.

To select a Chrome Web Store app or extension:

  1. Click Chrome Web Store and enter the name of the app or extension in the text box at the top.
  2. Press Enter to search the Chrome Web Store. Items matching your search criteria appear in the left column.
  3. Choose the items to block or allow by clicking Add in the item's row. The selected item appears in the right column, and the Add link changes to Added.
  4. Click Save

To select Chrome Web Store app or extension that is published only to trusted testers:

  1. Click Specify a Custom App. 
  2. Enter https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx as the URL. The ID is part of the Chrome Web Store URL.  In this example, the ID is the string "lfkjhmmdoiphacoihfjjgcdcjppdogjh" in the URL:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/kiosk-google-app-test/lfkjhmmdoiphacoihfjjgcdcjppdogjh

  3. Click Add and Save

To select a third-party app or extension:

  1. Click Specify a Custom App. 
  2. Enter the app or extension ID and URL. You'll need to contact the app developer for the ID and URL. https://thirdparty.com/update.xml is an example of a third-party URL.
  3. Click Add and Save

On the User Settings page, you can also:

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