Legacy Browser Support (integrated) for Windows

2. Set policies

Chrome Browser version 74 and later.

For administrators who manage Chrome Browser on Windows for a business or school.

You can use the Google Admin Console or the Group Policy Management Editor to control integrated Legacy Browser Support (LBS) on managed Microsoft® Windows® computers.

Step 1: Add the Chrome Browser policy template (Group Policy only)

You can use Group Policy to control LBS policies that are included in the chrome.admx file. When you load the file, each policy is active with a setting that can be modified at any time.

To add the policy template:

  1. Open the downloaded Chrome Browser bundle and go to Configurationand thenadmx.
  2. Copy the google.admx and chrome.admx files to your Policy Definition template folder. (Example: C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions)
  3. In the admx folder, open the appropriate language folder.
    For example, if you’re in the U.S., open the en-US folder.
  4. Copy the google.adml and chrome.adml files to the matching language folder in your Policy Definition folder. (Example: C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US)
  5. Open Group Policy to confirm the files loaded correctly.
    If an error occurs, it’s usually because the files are in an incorrect location.
  6. Check the locations and confirm again.

Step 2: Review policies

Expand to see the full set of policies and descriptions.

Full set of policies and descriptions

 

Policy Description and settings

AlternativeBrowserParameters

Specifies the parameters to be passed to the alternative browser’s executable.

If this policy is turned on, the provided parameters are used when the alternative browser is invoked.

You can use the special placeholder ${url} to specify where the URL should appear in the command line.

You don't have to specify the placeholder if it's the only argument or if it should be appended to the end of the command line.

Unset: Only the URL is passed as a parameter to the alternative browser. 

AlternativeBrowserPath

Specifies the program to be used as an alternative browser. You can specify a file location or use one of these variables:

  • ${chrome}—Chrome Browser
  • ${firefox}— Mozilla® Firefox®
  • ${ie}—Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • ${opera}—Opera®
  • ${safari}—Apple® Safari®

Unset: The default alternative browser is Internet Explorer, ${ie}.

BrowserSwitcherChromeParameters Specifies the parameters to be passed to Chrome Browser’s executable. If this policy is turned on, the provided parameters are used when Chrome is invoked. 

You can use the special placeholder ${url} to specify where the URL should appear in the command line.

You don't have to specify the placeholder if it's the only argument or if it should be appended to the end of the command line.​

Unset: Only the URL is passed as a parameter to Chrome Browser when returning from the alternative browser.

BrowserSwitcherChromePath

Specifies the executable of Chrome Browser to be launched when returning from the alternative browser.

You can specify a file location or use the variable ${chrome}, which is the default installation location for Chrome Browser. 

Unset: The default installation of Chrome Browser, ${chrome}, is used when returning from the alternative browser.

BrowserSwitcherDelay

Specifies the length of time, in milliseconds, that it takes to open the alternative browser. During this time, users see an interstitial page that lets them know they're switching to another browser. If there are issues, users see an error message on the page.
 
Unset: The URL immediately opens in the alternative browser without showing the interstitial page.

BrowserSwitcherEnabled

Enables the Legacy Browser Support feature. 

If this policy is turned on, users can open some URLs in an alternative browser, such as Internet Explorer.

If this policy is turned on, you must configure at least one of these policies:

Unset: Chrome Browser will not open URLs in an alternative browser.

BrowserSwitcherExternalGreylistUrl

Specifies the URL of the XML file that contains the list of URLs that do not trigger a browser switch.

Unset: Chrome Browser doesn’t use an XML file to control which URLs do not trigger a browser switch.

BrowserSwitcherExternalSitelistUrl

Specifies the URL of the XML file that contains the list of URLs that open in an alternative browser.

You can review this sample XML file.

Unset: Chrome Browser doesn’t use an XML file to control whether URLs open in an alternative browser.

BrowserSwitcherKeepLastChromeTab

Specifies whether to close Chrome Browser after the last tab in the window switches to the alternative browser.

Chrome Browser tabs automatically close after switching to the alternative browser. If this policy is turned off and the last tab is open in the window before switching, Chrome Browser closes completely.

Unset: After switching to the alternative browser, at least one tab stays open in Chrome Browser.

BrowserSwitcherUrlGreylist

Specifies a list of website URLs that open in Chrome Browser or an alternative browser and do not trigger a browser switch.

Unset: URLs open in Chrome Browser, unless specified in BrowserSwitcherExternalSitelistUrl, BrowserSwitcherUrlList , or BrowserSwitcherUseIeSitelist.

BrowserSwitcherUrlList

Specifies a list of website URLs that open in an alternative browser.

Unset: No URLs are listed in the Chrome policy.

BrowserSwitcherUseIeSitelist

Use your Internet Explorer site list to control whether URLs open in Chrome Browser or Internet Explorer.

Unset: Chrome doesn’t use the Internet Explorer site list.

Step 3: Configure LBS

Click below for the steps, based on how you want to manage these policies.

Admin console
Can apply for signed-in users on any device or enrolled browsers on Windows, Mac, or Linux. For details, see Understand when settings apply.
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. Click User & browser settings.
  4. To apply the setting to all users and enrolled browsers, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  5. Go to Legacy Browser Support.
  6. For Legacy Browser Support, select Enable Legacy Browser Support.
  7. (Optional) To open specific URLs in an alternative browser:
    1. Scroll to Websites to open in alternative browser.
    2. Enter the URLs of pages to open in an alternative browser.
  8. (Optional) To use your Internet Explorer site list to specify which URLs open in Internet Explorer:
    1. Scroll to Use Internet Explorer site list.
    2. Select Use Internet Explorer’s Sitelist policy as a source or rules.
  9. (Optional) To use an XML file to specify which URLs open in an alternative browser:
    1. Scroll to Legacy Browser Support site list.
    2. Enter the URL of the XML file.
  10. Click Save.
Windows

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.

  1. Open Group Policy and go to Administrative Templatesand thenGoogleand thenGoogle Chrome.
  2. Turn on Enable the Legacy Browser Support feature.
  3. (Optional) To open specific URLs in an alternative browser:
    1. Turn on Websites to open in alternative browser.
    2. Under Options, specify the URLs of pages to open in an alternative browser.
  4. (Optional) To use your Internet Explorer site list to specify which URLs open in Internet Explorer, enable Use Internet Explorer's SiteList policy for Legacy Browser Support.
  5. (Optional) To use an XML file to specify which URLs open in an alternative browser:
    1. Enable URL of an XML file that contains URLs to load in an alternative browser.
    2. Under Options, specify the URL of the XML file.

Step 4: (Recommended) Enable Browser Helper Object

The first time that LBS switches browser and opens a URL from Internet Explorer back to Chrome Browser again, users are prompted to enable the Browser Helper Object (BHO). As an admin, you can use Group Policy to automatically enable BHO so that users don’t have to manually enable it.

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.

  1. Open Group Policy and go to Administrative Templatesand thenWindows Componentsand thenInternet Explorerand thenSecurity Featuresand thenAdd-on Management.
  2. If Add-on List isn’t already turned on, select Enabled.
  3. Under Options, click Show.
  4. For Value name, enter the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID), {08B5789A-BD8E-4DAE-85DF-EF792C658B86}. Include the brackets.
  5. For Value, enter 1. The add-on is enabled and users can’t change it.

Step 5: (Optional) Customize LBS

Click below for the steps, based on how you want to manage these policies.

Admin console
Can apply for signed-in users on any device or enrolled browsers on Windows, Mac, or Linux. For details, see Understand when settings apply.
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Devicesand thenChrome.
  3. Click User & browser settings.
  4. To apply the setting to all users and enrolled browsers, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  5. Go to Legacy Browser Support.
  6. (Optional) To specify which browser to use as an alternative:
    1. Scroll to Alternative browser path.
    2. Enter the location of the browser’s executable file. Or, use one of these variables:
      • ${chrome}—Chrome Browser
      • ${firefox}— Firefox
      • ${ie}—Internet Explorer
      • ${opera}—Opera
      • ${safari}—Safari
  7. (Optional) To pass parameters to the alternative browser:
    1. Scroll to Alternative browser parameters.
    2. Enter the parameters that you want to pass on to the alternative browser’s executable file.
  8. (Optional, Windows only) Specify the Chrome Browser file to use when returning from the alternative browser:
    1. Scroll to Chrome path.
    2. Enter the location of the Chrome Browser executable file. Or, use the variable ${chrome}.
  9. (Optional, Windows only) To pass command line arguments to Chrome Browser:
    1. Scroll to Chrome parameters.
    2. Enter the parameters to pass on to the Chrome Browser executable file.
  10. (Optional) To allow URLs to open in either browser, such as a single sign-on (SSO) page:
    1. Scroll to Websites to open in either browser.
    2. Enter the URLs that can open in both browsers and don't trigger a transition.
  11. (Optional) To keep Chrome Browser open after the last tab in the window switches to the alternative browser.
    1. Scroll to Keep last Chrome tab.
    2. Select Keep at least one Chrome tab open.
  12. (Optional) To use an XML file to specify which URLs do not trigger a browser switch:
    1. Scroll to URL to list of websites to open in either browser.
    2. Enter the URL of the XML file.
  13. Click Save.
Windows

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.

  1. Open Group Policy and go to Administrative Templatesand thenGoogleand thenGoogle Chrome.
  2. (Optional) To specify which browser to use as an alternative:
    1. Turn on Alternative browser to launch for configured websites.
    2. Choose an option:
      • Under Options, specify the location of the browser’s executable file.​
      • Use one of these variables:
        • ${chrome}—Chrome Browser 
        • ${firefox}—Firefox
        • ${ie}—Internet Explorer
        • ${opera}—Opera
        • ${safari}—Safari
  3. (Optional) To pass command line arguments to the alternative browser:
    1. Turn on Command-line parameters for the alternative browser.
    2. Under Options, specify the arguments to pass on to the alternative browser’s executable file.
  4. (Optional) To specify the Chrome Browser file to use when returning from the alternative browser:
    1. Turn on Path to Chrome for switching from the alternative browser.
    2. Under Options, specify the location of the Chrome Browser executable file. Or, use the variable ${chrome}.
  5. (Optional) To pass command line arguments to Chrome Browser:
    1. Turn on Command-line parameters for switching from the alternative browser.
    2. Under Options, specify the arguments to pass on to the Chrome Browser executable file.
  6. (Optional) To allow URLs open in either browser, such as a single sign-on (SSO) page:
    1. Turn on Websites that should never trigger a browser switch.
    2. Under Options, list the URLs that can open in both browsers and don't trigger a transition.
  7. (Optional) To use an XML file to specify which URLs do not trigger a browser switch:
    1. Enable URL of an XML file that contains URLs that should never trigger a browser switch.
    2. Under Options, specify the URL of the XML file.

Step 6: Verify policies are applied

Check Chrome Browser policies

After you apply any Chrome policies, users need to restart Chrome Browser for the settings to take effect. Check users’ devices to make sure the policy was applied correctly.

  1. On a managed device, go to chrome://policy.
  2. Click Reload policies.
  3. Check the Show policies with no value set box.
  4. For the policies that you set, make sure that:
    1. The status is set to OK.
    2. The policy values match what you set in the policy.
Check LBS configuration

For Chrome 76 and later, you can check to see which browser opens specific URLs.

  1. On a managed device, go to chrome://browser-switch/internals.
  2. In the URL Checker box, enter the URL to see which browser opens it.
  3. Under Sitelist, review the list to see which URLs open in the alternative browser.
  4. Under Greylist, review the list to see which URLs open in either browser.

LBS Configuration Options

Wildcards can be used in the Websites to open in either browser policy

Users can browse most of the Internet with the browser they prefer, while still opening certain URLs with the browser that you specify. Negative entries in the URL list specify the pages that open in Chrome Browser. Positive entries specify the pages that open in the alternative browser.

In the example, all URLs that contain example.com open in an alternate browser and all URLs that contain google open in Chrome Browser. URLs that don't contain example.com or google can open in either browser. 

URLs to trigger transition:

  • !google
  • example.com

URLs not to trigger transition:

  • *
How LBS handles conflicting rules

Rules are evaluated by their order of precision. So, 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. So, EXAMPLE.COM is the same as example.com but example.com/somefile is not the same as example.com/SOMEFILE.

Prefixes should 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 their prefixes only, use a specification such as www.

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