How to disable SSL v2 and SSL v3 on the client via Group Policy

This article will show you how to disabled SSL v2 and SSL v3 on browsers on the client using Group Policy.  SSL v2 and SSL v3 protocols for a long time has been considered to be broken protocols thanks to the many vulnerabilities found in these protocols like BEAST and POODLE to name but a few. While all newer browsers no longer have these protocols supports enabled by default you still might be But many web sites sill support these protocols due to legacy configuration. Therefore it’s still a good idea to turn off these protocols on the web browsers so that clients are never forced into using these old and insecure protocols.

It should be noted that while I say that this is a for browsers on the client these settings should be applied to all windows computers in your organisation whether they are servers or workstations. Now I would ALWAYS say that using a web browser on a server is a bad idea, in fact it should be blocked. However, just be realistic some admins can and do from time to time use browsers on servers meaning its still important to implement this lockdown on all your windows computers.

Also, in case you were confused, SSL and TLS are pretty much the same thing. Just think of TLS 1.0 as SSL v4 and so on. Most people still think SSL when they see that padlock in the address bar, it just that mostly it is now secured using the TLS protocols.

To disable SSL v2 and SSL v3 its best to create a Computer based Group Policy settings that applies at the top level of your domain. In GPMC navigate to Computers Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explore > Internet Control Panel > Advanced Page and then open the policy setting called “Turn off encryption support”.

Once you have the policy open you will notice there is a drop down option that will give you 32 different permutation of having enabled or disabling SSL and TLS.

Generally most sites on the Internet with encryption support TLS 1.0 or later. So the best bet would be to select the option “Use TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2”.


In case you were wondering, yes, this will break any site for your users that only uses SSL v3 or earlier. But its probably best that you don’t use those site as they either don’t care or don’t understand about security.

However, if you do have a any site that your users absolutely must access that still uses SSL v3 then you can still exclude the computer from the policy by following my other blog post at .

Now that you have disable SSL on your client the next thing to look at is disabling the protocol on all you internal (and external servers). In my next post I will show you how to also disable SSL (and enabled TLS 2.0) on all your servers using Group Policy.

Using Edge in the Enterprise – Ignite Australia 2017

This is a video of the Using Edge in the Enterprise session I did at Ignite Australia 2017. This session covers the recent improvements in Edge in Windows 10 and how the new Group Policy features can enabled it to be used in the Enterprise.

I also cover some of the new features such as Favourite Synchronisation and Windows Defender Application Guard that will be coming out soon to sandbox the Edge process for improved security.

How to synchronise Internet Explorer Favourites with Edge

In the latest release of Windows 10 insider preview (Build 15002) there is a new policy setting added that allows you to sync the IE Favourites with Edge. This policy setting allow you as an IT administrator to not have to setup the browser favourites in multiple locations thus reducing duplication of effort.

Previously you may have had Group Policy Preferences Shortcuts configured to manage the IE Favourites (see below).


However, this only configured the Favourites in IE and not Edge.


It was possible to configured Edge Favourites however this was a separate policy setting called “Configure Favourites”.


However this still meant that you needed to maintain a separate Favourites List for each browser which normally meant a double of up settings changes when ever they needed to be updated.


So to remove the need to duplicate Favourite configuration when starting to use Edge, the new policy setting enables the feature to sync favourites called “Keep favourites in sync between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge”


And once enabled you now have all the IE Favourites appear in the Edge browser in almost real time during the next Group Policy updated.


Tip: As of this build it appear that this policy does preserve the current Edge configured Favourites, but if you deleted these they do not come back.

Updated Group Policy Health Reporter

The post Updated Group Policy Health Reporter appeared first on SDM Software | Configuration Experts.

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone made it safely through the holidays. To start off 2017, we’ve been working to update some of our existing freeware tools. The first beneficiary of that work is our Group Policy Health Reporter utility, now at version 1.9 (see screenshot):

Group Policy Health Reporter 1.9

Group Policy Health Reporter 1.9

This new version fixes issues we had reporting against Windows 10 and Server 2016, upgrades the utility to 64-bit, upgrades the required .Net Framework version to 4.0 and cleans up a weird issue that seems to have been introduced at some point in Windows 7 and 2008-R2.

Namely, one of the pieces of information we return is the list of GPOs that have been processed by a computer or user, and those corresponding Group Policy Container (GPC) and Group Policy Template (GPT) versions. The idea here is that, in the days of NTFRS SYSVOL replication, you often got into scenarios where the AD part of the GPO replicated to DCs at a different rate (or sometimes not at all!) than the SYSVOL part–resulting in GPOs being incorrectly processed by some clients. Health Reporter has always called out this difference as a potential problem, by mining information in the client’s registry under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy. However, at some point Windows 7 and 2008-R2 stopped properly updating the GPT version in that registry metadata–always reporting it as ‘FFFF’, which means that the GPT version couldn’t be resolved. This led to false positives in GP Health Reporter that were annoying at best. So we’ve essentially now cleaned that up so that these errors don’t get flagged for Windows 7 and 2008-R2 target systems. Not a perfect solution, since you could still have SYSVOL replication issues that could be completely legitimate, but for now, at least a partial solution.

And of course, if you need a more full-featured, enterprise-strength GP reporting solution that remotely grabs GP health and even SETTINGs from your Windows systems, our commercial Group Policy Compliance Manager is your solution!


Darren Mar-Elia

The post Updated Group Policy Health Reporter appeared first on SDM Software | Configuration Experts. from SDM Software | Group Policy Management & Administration Tools via IFTTT

How to use Group Policy to configure the Taskbar in Windows 10

In release 1607 of Windows 10, Microsoft has now introduced a way to configured the Windows 10 taskbar using Group Policy. This feature allows Group Policy administrator to now add or replace the application that appear on the taskbar. This actually is the first time since Windows Vista that a Group Policy administrator has been able to configure the taskbar for a user. Before this you could only configure it by modifying the default users profile, but user would then be able to remove and reconfigured the taskbar however they wanted.

To implement this feature you need to first create an XML file that has the required configuration information. This is actually just an addition to the same XML file you might already have deployed to configure your start menu. In fact the policy setting to apply the taskbar settings is the exact same “Start Layout” policy setting under “Users\Administrator Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar” that was introduced in Windows 8.1.


Once you have configured the XML then save it to a network share that has “Authenticated Users” read permission and then point the policy setting to use the XML file you saved at this location.

Below is an example XML that will apply Paint, Microsoft Mail and Command Prompt to the taskbar.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath=”%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Paint.lnk” />
<taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID=”microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe!microsoft.windowslive.mail” />
<taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath=”%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Command Prompt.lnk” />

As you can see the Microsoft Windows Live Mail is a Universal Windows Application, if you want to pin another UWA like this you can pin it to your start menu and then use the “Export-StartLayout” PowerShell command to get the exact AppUserModelID value for the app you want to pin.

So now you have the XML you want to use and you want to apply it simply configured and apply the “Start Layout” policy (as per above) to the user and they will now get the apps pin’d to the taskbar next time they logon.


Note that even though you have added the pinned items to the taskbar you should be aware that they can still un-pin these items. Unlike other policy settings however, they will not come back after the next Group Policy refresh. Instead they will only come back once the XML modification date is changed. The easiest way to do this is to simple open then XML configuration file on the central server and then just save the un-modified file. Note: This feature does not allow you to remove the “Cortana” and “Task View” items using this feature.

For more information about this feature including a complete breakdown of the XML schema check out