As an IT professional, I always face problems when untrained users change their Internet connection settings. They always make a mistake somewhere, and sometimes the solution is to just keep them away from the Internet Options dialog box.
I have worked for many companies that hide the Internet Explorer Options tab in Internet Explorer to discourage users from changing settings, which makes sense since network administrators are the only ones who should have access to these settings.
In a controlled environment, companies typically only allow one type of browser, such as Internet Explorer, and these companies generally prevent their employees from changing Internet settings such as the home page and default proxy.
The following is a typical Internet Options window:
There are several ways to disable browser property tabs in IE, and I will cover the various methods in this post. The first method uses Group Policy, but will only work if you have Windows Pro or Ultimate. If you are using Home or Home Premium, go to the registry key.
Disable Internet Options in IE via Group Policy
To disable any tab in the Internet Options window, follow these steps:
Step 1. Click “Start”, type GPEDIT.MSC in the search bar and press “Enter” to open the Group Policy Editor window.
Step 2. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, expand User Configuration Administrative Templates Windows Components Internet Explorer, then click Internet Control Panel.
Step 3: In the right pane of the window, double-click the item you want to disable. For example, to disable the Advanced tab, double-click the Disable Advanced Page option.
Step 4: In the Properties window, select the Enabled option and click OK. The Advanced tab in Internet Options will be disabled and removed.
Step 5: Follow the previous steps to disable other items in the Internet Options window. To include items, simply select the Not Configured option in the Properties window and click OK.
That’s all! For less experienced computer users who do not know about GPEDIT, you should discourage them from changing advanced settings in IE.
Disable IE options via Registry Editor
The second way to disable tabs in IE options is to use Registry Editor. It’s a little more complicated, but it’s the only option if you don’t have access to the Group Policy Editor.
You can open Registry Editor by clicking Start and typing regedit. Once there, navigate to the next key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Policies Microsoft
Please note, if you want to disable this option for all PC users, go to the same key, but in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE section.
If Microsoft doesn’t already have a key called Internet Explorer, you’ll have to create one manually. Just right click Microsoft and select New – Key. There are two options at the moment. If you want to completely disable the Internet Options dialog box, you can create another key in Internet Explorer called Restrictions.
Finally, you will create a new DWORD value in the right pane inside the constraints called NoBrowserOptions. Give it a value of 1 and restart Internet Explorer. If you try to go to Internet Options, an error message appears.
If you don’t want to disable the entire dialog, but only a few tabs, you should create a new key called Control Panel in Microsoft instead of restrictions. Inside this, you will create DWORD entries corresponding to the tabs:
AdvancedTab ConnectionsTab ContentTab GeneralTab PrivacyTab ProgramsTab SecurityTab
As you can see above, I created a Control Panel section in Internet Explorer and then created a DWORD entry in the right pane named AdvancedTab with a decimal value of 1. This only removed the Advanced Tab from the IE Options window.
Hopefully these methods will give you more control over the advanced Internet Explorer settings in your environment. If you have any problems, feel free to comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!