How to use Group Policy to remove the Network Connectivity Status Indicator message in your network icon

Windows has a cool feature that allows you to tell if your computer has Internet connectivity when you are connected to a network (see image below). This feature is called Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) it uses a combination of DNS and/or HTTP look ups to tell if you are connected to the Internet. The way does this is either via a HTTP request for http://www.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt or a DNS look up for dns.msftncsi.com that resoles to 131.107.255.255

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Windows 7

However if you find this error message really annoying there is now a Windows 7 group policy will turn it off. This is a machine setting so edit a Group Policy Object that is applied to all the workstations you want to turn this message off. Then navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network Connections and enabled the “Do not show the “local access only” network icon” policy setting.

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TADA… Now you will no longer see the exclamation icon on the network icon.

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For more information on how NCSI works and this Windows 7 policy see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee126135(WS.10).aspx

Windows Vista

Unfortunately Windows Vista does not have the same Group Policy however there is a registry key that can be applied using Group Policy Preferences that has the same affect.

Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet
Value: EnableActiveProbing
Data: 1 (REG_DWORD) = Enabled
Data: 0 = Disabled

Step 1. Edit a Group Policy Object that is applied to all the workstation you want this Browser Ballot disabled.

Step 2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry and create a “New Registry Item”

Step 3. Type “SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet” in the Key Path then type “EnableActiveProbing” in the Value name, then select REG_DWORD as the value type “0” in the value data and then click “OK”.

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For more information on how NCSI works and this Windows Vista policy see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766017(WS.10).aspx

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