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Install and update Google applications

Use Google Update to manage Google applications on Windows computers

As a Microsoft® Windows® administrator, you can use group policy settings to specify which Google applications Google Update installs and updates on Windows computers. For example, you might want to allow users to only install specific applications. Or, you might want to specify how often Google Update checks for browser updates. You manage Google Update using Microsoft Windows Group Policy®.

Note: To configure Google Update policy settings, computers must be joined to a domain using Microsoft® Active Directory®.

Install Google Update

You use an administrative template to install and define policies for Google Update.

For information about installing and managing Group Policy administrative templates, see:

Update Google application policy settings

Change the update check period for all Google applications

You can delay automatic updates to help reduce peak bandwidth use within a network. However, to minimize the total bandwidth used for updates, we recommend that you don’t delay updates.
  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Go to Googleand thenGoogle Updateand thenPreferences.
  3. Click Auto-update check period override.
  4. Check the Enabled box.
  5. In the Minutes between update checks box, enter a value between 60 and 43,200 to specify the number of minutes between updates.
  6. Click OK.

Turn on or off Chrome auto-updates

We recommend that you keep auto-updates turned on so your users receive software updates and critical security fixes. If a Chrome release causes an issue in your organization, you can turn off updates until it’s resolved.
If your organization wants to push updates to Chrome, you need to turn off auto-updates first. Otherwise, Chrome might autoupdate on your users’ computers before you finish the update.
  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Go to Googleand thenGoogle Updateand thenApplicationsand thenGoogle Chrome.
  3. Click Update policy override.
  4. Under Options, choose a policy.
  5. Click OK.

If you turned off Chrome auto-updates, you can make sure they’re turned off on users computers:

  1. On a computer joined to your domain using Active Directory, open Chrome.
  2. At the top, click MoreMoreand thenSettings.
  3. On the left, click About.

If updates are turned off, a message notes that updates are disabled by an administrator.

Policy and registry settings

Google Update policies are grouped into 2 categories, Preferences and Applications.

You can apply a set of policies to managed computers using the Group Policy Management Console. Or, you can use another way, such as logon scripts, to directly modify the registry values. For details, see the Registry settings section below.

Preferences policies

You use Preferences policies to control the overall behavior of Google Update.
  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Go to Googleand thenGoogle Updateand thenPreferences.
  3. Click the policy you want to change.
Policy Description
Auto-update check period override Minimum number of minutes between automatic update checks.

When enabled, the policy overrides the default period. Allowed values are between 60 and 43,200 minutes.

We recommend that you don’t disable all auto-update checks. This sets the value of UpdatedDefault to zero (0) in the Windows registry. If you do disable all checks, applications that use Google Update no longer automatically update. And, you can’t update applications that don’t have the manual update feature. To prevent updates for a specific application, you should instead use the Update policy override Applications policy for that application.

DownloadPreference Available in Google Update versions 1.3.26.1 and later.

Provides a hint for the update servers about the update payload URLs returned in the update response.

Currently, you can only choose cacheable.

When enabled, this policy might result in the server responding with a payload that could be cached by downstream proxies or similar types of content-caching solutions. This is a best-effort policy. The server can ignore it, depending on load and several other reasons. By default, the update payloads can’t be cached in most cases. Usually, it isn't an issue for consumer instances of Chrome but it might be a problem for some enterprise environments.

Applications policies

You use Applications policies to control Google Update's behavior with the applications that use it. Only Google applications that use Google Update are affected by these policies. Default policies are overridden by per-application policies.

Change default Applications policies

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Go to Googleand thenGoogle Updateand thenApplications.
  3. Click the policy you want to change.
Policy Description
Allow installation default Specifies the default behavior for whether or not Google Update installs Google applications.

This policy can't prevent a user from installing an application directly on their Windows computer.

Update policy override default Specifies the default policy for software updates from Google.
  • Always allow updates (recommended)—Updates are always applied when found, either by a periodic or manual update check.
  • Automatic silent updates—Updates are automatically applied when they are found during a periodic update check.
  • Manual updates only—Updates are only applied when the user does a manual update check. (Not all applications provide an interface for this.)
  • Updates disabled—Updates are never applied. This also prevents updates to any new Google applications released in the future, which could affect future versions of installed applications.

If you choose Manual updates only, you should periodically check for updates using each application’s manual-update feature, if supported. If you disable updates, you should periodically check for updates and distribute them to users.

Updates to Google Update are not affected by this setting. Google Update will continue to update itself.

Change per-application policies

The Applications folder in the Group Policy Management Console contains all the Google applications that use Google Update. You can set policies for specific applications.

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Go to Googleand thenGoogle Updateand thenApplications.
  3. Click the application that you want to change policies for.
  4. Click the policy you want to change.
Policy Description
Allow installation Specifies whether a specific application can be installed using Google Update.
Update policy override Specifies how Google Update handles available updates for a specific application.
  • Always allow updates (recommended)—Updates are always applied when found, either by a periodic or manual update check.
  • Automatic silent updates—Updates are automatically applied when they are found during a periodic update check.
  • Manual updates only—Updates are only applied when the user does a manual update check. (Not all applications provide an interface for this.)
  • Updates disabled—Updates are never applied.

If you select manual updates, you should periodically check for updates using the application's manual update feature, if supported. If you disable updates, you should periodically check for updates and distribute them to users.

Registry settings

Each Google Update policy in the Administrative Template has a corresponding registry value name in the Windows registry. The Administrative Template contains detailed information and registry values for all supported Google applications.
You can find registry values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Update.
Policy Registry Value Type Example
Auto-update check period override AutoUpdateCheckPeriodMinutes REG_DWORD 1400
Allow installation default InstallDefault REG_DWORD 1
Update policy override default UpdateDefault REG_DWORD 1
DownloadPreference (Available in GoogleUpdate 1.3.26.1) DownloadPreference REG_SZ cacheable
Allow installation Install<AppID>

Example: Install{11112222-3333-4444-5555-666677778888}

REG_DWORD 1
Update policy override Update<AppID>

Example: Update{11112222-3333-4444-5555-666677778888}

REG_DWORD 2

Note: To turn off Chrome browser auto-updates using registry settings, uninstall Chrome browser, set UpdateDefault to zero (0), and then install the Chrome version you want to remain on.

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