Manage Chrome kiosk app settings

This article is for Chrome administrators and developers with experience developing Chrome apps.

As an administrator, you can use the Google Admin console to customize Chrome kiosk apps. For example, you might want your app to control the version of Chrome that's running on a kiosk. Or, you can automatically launch a kiosk app on a digital sign.

Autolaunch a kiosk app on Chrome devices

Setting a kiosk app to launch automatically turns devices running Chrome OS into single-purpose devices. You can deploy multiple kiosk apps to devices, but you can only configure one app to automatically launch when devices start. For example, you might automatically launch an app on devices where user interaction isn’t controlled with a keyboard and mouse.

  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 Device managementand thenChrome management.

    If you don't see Device management on the Home page, click More controls at the bottom.

  3. Click Device settings.
  4. On the left, select the organization where you want to configure policies.
    For all users, select the top-level organization. Otherwise, select a child organization.
  5. Go to Kiosk Settingsand thenKiosk Settings.
  6. For Auto-Launch Kiosk App, choose the app you want to automatically launch.
  7. Click Save.

Let kiosk app control Chrome OS version 

Supported on Chrome 52 and later.

Letting the app control the Chrome OS version can improve device stability if the app, or certain app features, aren't compatible with the latest Chrome OS release.

We recommend that you only let a kiosk app control the Chrome OS version if:

  • Your testing process doesn’t align with the standard 6-week cycle for OS updates.
  • There is significant risk associated with any potential stability issues.

Step 1: Set the OS version in the kiosk app’s manifest file

  1. Identify the Chrome OS version that you want to specify.
    1. Go to CrOS-OmahaProxy CSV Viewer.
    2. For the most common device in your organization, take note of the chrome_version value.
  2. In the app’s manifest.json file, set required_platform_version to the value you noted.
    For example: "required_platform_version”: “8350”.
  3. To automatically update the app to the latest version, even if the Chrome OS version isn't compliant, set always_update to true.

This sample configuration sets the required_platform_version to 8350 and always lets the app update automatically.

Step 2: Let the kiosk app control the Chrome OS version

  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 Device managementand thenChrome management.

    If you don't see Device management on the Home page, click More controls at the bottom.

  3. Click Device settings.
  4. On the left, select the organization that contains the devices you want to control the Chrome OS version for.
    For all devices, select the top-level organization. Otherwise, select a child organization.
  5. For an autolaunched kiosk app:
    1. Go to Device Update Settingsand thenAuto Update Settings.
    2. From the Auto Update menu, select Stop auto-updates.
    3. Go to Kiosk Settingsand thenKiosk Settings.
    4. For Auto-Launch Kiosk App, choose the app that you want to control the Chrome OS version.
    5. From the Allow Kiosk App to Control OS Version menu, select Allow kiosk app to control OS version.
    6. Verify that the app's manifest file contains required_platform_version field.
    7. Click Enable kiosk app control OS version.
    8. At the bottom, click Save.
  6. For all other kiosk apps:
    1. Go to Device Update Settingsand thenApp-Controlled Updates.
    2. Under Allow app to control OS version, click Select an app.
    3. Click Chrome Web Store and search for your kiosk app.
    4. Click Addand thenSave.
    5. Click Save to confirm.

Step 3 : Verify policies are applied

After you apply any Chrome policies, users need to restart Chrome devices for the settings to take effect. You can check users’ devices to make sure the policy was applied correctly.
  1. On a managed Chrome device, browse to chrome://policy.
  2. Click Reload policies.
  3. For an autolaunched kiosk app:
    • For AllowKioskAppControlChromeVersion, make sure that Status is set to OK and Policy value is true.
    • For DeviceAutoUpdateDisable, make sure that Status is OK and Policy value is true.
  4. For specified kiosk apps:
    • For DeviceTargetVersionPrefix, make sure that Status is set to OK.
    • For DeviceTargetVersionPrefix, make sure that Policy value is the same as the value set for required_platform_version in the app's manifest file.

Common scenarios

This table describes different scenarios where kiosk apps are configured to control the Chrome OS version on a device.
Scenario Result

The app’s manifest file does not have the required_platform_version manifest key.

Devices autoupdate to the latest Chrome OS version when it becomes available.

The app’s manifest file has an invalid required_platform_version setting.

The app developer sees an error message in chrome://extensions when they try to load the app. The required_platform_version must be valid for the app to get installed or updated from the Chrome Web Store.

The required_platform_version value is lower than the device’s current platform version.

The app is installed but the device OS will not get updated unless the required_platform_version value is updated to a version higher than the current device OS version.

Note: The first time an app is installed from the Chrome Web Store, the required_platform_version value is verified, but not compared to the device’s current platform version.

The required_platform_version is updated to a lower value than the device’s current platform version.

The app is not installed and the client device continues to run the older version of the app.

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