IE7 ignoring proxy GPO settings

On alot of systems (especially mobile ones!) it’s often useful to use the ‘Automatically detect settings’ in the Internet Explorer configuration, so that if a proxy is available on the network it will get detected via WPAD, and if there isn’t one, the system connects directly.

I configure this setting on alot of clients using group policy, and it works as you’d expect with IE6. However, after rolling out an upgrade to IE7 to a handful of test systems I noticed that this setting was being ignored, despite it showing on a RSOP for the user/system – although other IE settings such has homepage etc do still continue to be applied to IE7.

Apparently the proxy settings are not being applied because standard users cannot change them after installation. A workaround for this is to set the following GPO:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Make proxy settings per-machine (rather than per-user) = DISABLED

 This needs to be set to disabled – not configured won’t cut it! After setting this ‘gpupdate /force’ might be your friend too!

Failing that, run RSOP.msc on a computer with the issue, and navigate to the ‘Automatic browser configuration’ section in IE maintainance under the user policies, then look under the ‘Auto-cfg detect precedence’ tab, ensure that none of the policies set here are set to disabled.

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