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Appendix C: Group Policy Settings Listed Under the Internet Communication Management Category in Windows Vista

In This Appendix

Overview of Group Policy Settings Listed Under the Internet Communication Management Category

Controlling Multiple Policy Settings Through the Restrict Internet Communications Setting

Policy Settings that Affect Computer Configuration

Policy Settings that Affect User Configuration

Overview of Group Policy Settings Listed Under the Internet Communication Management Category

Windows Vista contains a variety of Group Policy settings that can help you control the way that operating system features communicate across the Internet. Some of these policy settings can be found in Group Policy under the category named Internet Communication Management. This category can be seen through the Group Policy Object Editor (which can be opened through the Group Policy Management Console). Internet Communication Management is located in two places:

  • Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System

  • User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System

This appendix describes the policy settings under the Internet Communication Management category. It also describes the way in which one policy setting, Restrict Internet communication, controls multiple other policy settings.

ImportantImportant
The Restrict Internet communication policy setting controls the policy settings under Internet Communication Management only, and not policy settings in other locations. For example, it does not control the policy setting in a different location called Configure Microsoft SpyNet Reporting (a setting described in Windows Defender and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista in this white paper). In this white paper, wherever there is a procedure about a policy setting that is controlled by Restrict Internet communication, a note after the procedure describes the control relationship.

Individual policy settings under Internet Communication Management for specific features are described in this appendix, appropriate sections of this white paper, and in the Explain text in the policy settings. Many other Group Policy settings (beyond the ones described in this appendix) are also described in appropriate sections of this white paper.

For information about using Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), see Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy for Windows Vista.

Controlling Multiple Policy Settings Through the Restrict Internet Communications Setting

There are multiple ways to configure the Group Policy settings under Internet Communication Management in Windows Vista. You can configure policy settings individually, which means you could configure, for example, Turn off Event Viewer "Events.asp" links differently from Turn off Windows Error Reporting. Alternatively, the policy setting called Restrict Internet communication allows you to enable or disable the entire collection of policy settings at one time.

If you want to enable or disable Restrict Internet communication and then create exceptions to this master policy setting by configuring individual policy settings in the Internet Communication Management key, you must use two GPOs.

To do this, ensure that you understand how processing and precedence works for multiple GPOs (for example, see Help for GPMC). Choose or create a GPO with a lower precedence than another GPO. In the GPO with lower precedence, enable or disable Restrict Internet communication. Then, in the GPO that has precedence over it, apply the individual policy settings that are exceptions to the master policy setting. If you do not use two GPOs when setting both Restrict Internet communication and individual policy settings that are exceptions to the master policy setting, the policy settings might not work as expected.

To check the effect of multiple Group Policy settings, you can use Group Policy Results in GPMC. For more information about precedence, see the topic on Group Policy processing and precedence on the Microsoft TechNet Web site at:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=72164

Policy Settings that Affect Computer Configuration

This subsection of the appendix describes the policy settings under Internet Communication Management that fall under the Computer Configuration part of the tree in the Group Policy Object Editor (The policy settings under User Configuration are described later in this appendix.) For all these policy settings, the following is true:

  • The policy settings apply to all users of a computer running Windows Vista and come into effect when the computer starts or when Group Policy is refreshed.

  • Within the Group Policy Object Editor, these policy settings are located in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management\Internet Communication settings.

  • All of the policy settings can be enabled or disabled in one step by enabling or disabling the master policy setting that controls them, Restrict Internet communication. This policy setting is located in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management, and is described in "Controlling Multiple Policy Settings Through the Restrict Internet Communications Policy Setting," earlier in this section. The Restrict Internet communication policy setting interacts with all of the policy settings in the following list.

    noteNote
    This appendix does not describe all Group Policy settings available in Windows Vista. It describes only the policy settings available under Internet Communication Management. For information about the full range of policy settings available in Windows Vista, see the Group Policy Settings Reference on the Microsoft Web site at:
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54020

Individual Policy Settings that Affect Computer Configuration for Windows Vista

The following list describes the computer configuration policy settings under Internet Communication Management that are outlined in the previous subsection.

noteNote
More details about each policy setting are available in the Explain text for the policy setting. To view Explain text, select the policy setting in Group Policy and click the Extended tab, or open the policy setting and click the Explain tab.
  • Turn off handwriting recognition error reporting: Specifies whether users can report errors encountered in the Tablet PC Input Panel. This policy setting is related to another policy setting in this appendix, Turn off Windows Error Reporting. If you turn off Windows Error Reporting, you are also turning off error reporting for handwriting recognition.

    This policy setting is also described in Windows Error Reporting and the Problem Reports and Solutions Feature in Windows Vista in this white paper.

    This is a new policy setting for Windows Vista. To apply a new policy setting, you must use GPMC on a computer running Windows Vista, as described in Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy for Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program: Specifies whether to opt users out of Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. If you enable this policy setting, all users are opted out of Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program.

    This policy setting is also described in Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista in this white paper.

  • Turn off Automatic Root Certificates Update: Specifies whether to automatically update root certificates using the list of trusted certification authorities that Microsoft maintains on the Windows Update Web site. If you enable this policy setting, when a user is presented with a certificate issued by an untrusted root authority, the user's computer will not contact the Windows Update Web site.

    This policy setting and the way that root certificate updates work are described in the Certificate Support and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section in this white paper.

  • Turn off printing over HTTP: Specifies whether to allow printing over HTTP from this computer. Note that this policy setting does not control whether the computer can act as an Internet print server.

    This policy setting and other policy settings related to Internet printing are described in the Internet Printing and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off downloading of print drivers over HTTP: Specifies whether to allow this computer to download print drivers over HTTP when needed.

    This policy setting and other policy settings related to Internet printing are described in the Internet Printing and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off Windows Update device driver searching: Specifies whether Windows searches Windows Update for device drivers when no local drivers for a device are present.

    This policy setting is described in the Device Manager, Hardware Wizards, and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off Event Viewer "Events.asp" links: Specifies whether Internet links shown within events in Event Viewer are activated. When such a link is activated and the user clicks it, information that identifies the event is sent to a Microsoft Web site so that explanatory text, if available, can be sent back to the user.

    This policy setting and the information sent and received when an Event Viewer link is clicked are described in the Event Viewer and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off Help and Support Center "Did you know?" content: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista. For a similar policy setting that affects Windows Vista, see Turn off Windows Online (in the User Configuration policy settings, not the Computer Configuration policy settings) later in this section.

  • Turn off Help and Support Center Microsoft Knowledge Base search: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista. For a similar policy setting that affects Windows Vista, see Turn off Windows Online (in the User Configuration policy settings, not the Computer Configuration policy settings) later in this section.

  • Turn off Internet Connection Wizard if URL connection is referring to Microsoft.com: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Registration if URL connection is referring to Microsoft.com: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Windows Error Reporting: Specifies whether error reports from a system or application that has stopped responding are sent to Microsoft. Error reports are used to improve the quality of the product. This policy setting overrides any user setting made from the Control Panel for error reporting.

    This policy setting and other ways of controlling error reporting through Group Policy are described in the Windows Error Reporting and the Problem Reports and Solutions Feature in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off access to all Windows Update features: Specifies whether Windows Update can be used to update the operating system on this computer.

    This policy setting is described in the Windows Update and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off Search Companion content file updates: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Internet File Association service: Specifies whether to use the Web-based File Association service, or whether to use only locally stored information about file name extensions, file types, and the applications or features to use when opening a particular file type. The file association Web service is used only when a user tries to open a file and there is no locally stored information about the file name extension.

    This policy setting is also described in the File Association Web Service and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista section of this white paper.

  • Turn off Internet download for Web publishing and online ordering wizards: Specifies whether Windows should download a list of providers for the Order Prints Wizard. By default, Windows displays providers downloaded from a Windows Web site in addition to providers specified in the registry. If you enable this policy setting, Windows will not download providers and only the service providers that are stored in the local registry will be displayed. When Windows Vista has been installed but the Order Prints Wizard has not yet been used, no service providers are stored in the local registry. If this Group Policy setting is applied at that time, the wizard will not display links to service providers.

    For more information about the registry keys in which providers can be specified, see “Registering a Service” at the MSDN Web site at:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=29134

    This policy setting is also described in Appendix L: Wizards in Windows Vista Related to Connecting to the Internet in this white paper.

  • Turn off the "Order Prints" picture task: Specifies whether the Order Prints Wizard can be run from Windows Photo Gallery.

    This policy setting is also described in Appendix L: Wizards in Windows Vista Related to Connecting to the Internet in this white paper.

  • Turn off the "Publish to Web" task for files and folders: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista.

  • Turn off the Windows Messenger Customer Experience Improvement Program: This policy setting does not affect Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Windows Movie Maker automatic codec downloads: This policy setting does not affect the version of Windows Movie Maker in Windows Vista.

  • Turn off Windows Movie Maker online Web links: Specifies whether links to Web sites are available in Windows Movie Maker.

    This policy setting and the links it refers to are described in Appendix I: Internet-Based Resources Available from the Start Menu, Control Panel, and Windows Movie Maker in this white paper.

  • Turn off Windows Movie Maker saving to online video hosting provider: This policy setting does not affect the version of Windows Movie Maker in Windows Vista.

Policy Settings that Affect User Configuration

This subsection of the appendix describes the policy settings under Internet Communication Management that fall under the User Configuration part of the tree in the Group Policy Object Editor. (The policy settings under Computer Configuration are described earlier in this appendix.) For all these policy settings, the following is true:

  • The policy settings apply to the individual user and come into effect when the user logs on or when Group Policy is refreshed.

  • Within the Group Policy Object Editor, these policy settings are located in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management\Internet Communication settings.

  • All of the policy settings can be enabled or disabled in one step by enabling or disabling the master policy setting that controls them, Restrict Internet communication. This policy setting is located in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management, and is described in "Controlling Multiple Policy Settings Through the Restrict Internet Communications Policy Setting," earlier in this section. The Restrict Internet communication policy setting interacts with all of the policy settings in the following list.

    noteNote
    This appendix does not describe all Group Policy settings available in Windows Vista. It describes only the policy settings available under Internet Communication Management. For information about the full range of policy settings available in Windows Vista, see the Group Policy Settings Reference on the Microsoft Web site at:
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54020

New Policy Settings that Affect User Configuration in Windows Vista

The following list describes the user configuration policy settings under Internet Communication Management that are new for Windows Vista. Additional policy settings are listed in the next subsection, "Existing Policy Settings that Affect User Configuration in Windows Vista."

More details about each policy setting are available in the Explain text for the policy setting. To view Explain text, select the policy setting in Group Policy and click the Extended tab, or open the policy setting and click the Explain tab.

ImportantImportant
To apply a policy setting that is new in Windows Vista, you must use GPMC on a computer running Windows Vista, as described in Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy for Windows Vista.
  • Turn off Help Ratings: Specifies whether, when Online Help is turned on, a user can also enter feedback into a brief form at the bottom of a Help topic, and then send that feedback back to Microsoft.

    This policy setting is also described in Help and Support Features that Communicate Through the Internet in Windows Vista in this white paper.

  • Turn off Help Experience Improvement Program: Specifies whether data can be collected about how the user navigates through Help: typing search queries, clicking links to local Help topics, clicking links to information on the Web, and so on. The collected data is sent to Microsoft, where it is used to better understand how to improve navigation for future Help.

    This policy setting is also described in Help and Support Features that Communicate Through the Internet in Windows Vista in this white paper.

  • Turn off Windows Online: Specifies whether users can see updated Help topics that Microsoft makes available across the Internet. If you turn off Windows Online, you also turn off Help Ratings and the Help Experience Improvement Program (which are dependent on the Windows Online policy setting).

    This policy setting is also described in Help and Support Features that Communicate Through the Internet in Windows Vista in this white paper.

  • Turn off handwriting recognition error reporting: Specifies whether users can report errors encountered in the Tablet PC Input Panel. This policy setting is related to another policy setting, Turn off Windows Error Reporting, which is described in "Individual Policy Settings that Affect Computer Configuration for Windows Vista," earlier in this appendix. If you turn off Windows Error Reporting, you are also turning off error reporting for handwriting recognition.

    This policy setting is also described in Windows Error Reporting and the Problem Reports and Solutions Feature in Windows Vista in this white paper.

Existing Policy Settings that Affect User Configuration in Windows Vista

The following list represents existing user configuration policy settings under Internet Communication Management that affect Windows Vista. For a description of a particular policy setting, find the policy setting under "Individual Policy Settings that Affect Computer Configuration," earlier in this section. Alternatively, you can select the policy setting in Group Policy and click the Extended tab, or open the policy setting and click the Explain tab.

  • Turn off printing over HTTP

  • Turn off downloading of print drivers over HTTP

  • Turn off Internet File Association service

  • Turn off Internet download for Web publishing and online ordering wizards

  • Turn off the "Order Prints" picture task

  • Turn off Windows Movie Maker online Web links

Several other user configuration policy settings are listed under Internet Communication Management, but they do not affect Windows Vista.

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