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Using Managed Browsers with Google Advanced Desktop Security

The Managed Browser feature in the Google Admin console allows you to apply Chrome policies to the Chrome browser on a variety of platforms - Windows, MacOS and Linux. The application of these policies is done via OU and apply without the user having to turn on "Sync".

I'll go through the specific steps to enrol browsers using Google Advanced Desktop Security as the Group Policy method is well documented elsewhere.

Deploy the Chrome ADMX template file

Down load the Chrome management files from here.

Unzip the package and open up the chrome.admx file with notepad.

Create a new custom OMA-URI Policy in the admin console and apply the following settings:



Type = String

Value = copy the entire content of the chrome.admx file into the value field. 

Apply to the root of your domain.

Set a policy to enrol a browser into a specific OU

Create a new custom OMA-URI Policy in the admin console and apply the following settings:



Type = String

Value = <enabled/> <data id="CloudManagementEnrollmentToken" value="yourtoken"/>

Apply to the OU you want the browser enrolled to after replacing yourtoken with your own token - see below.

The enrolment token can be generated for any OU by going into Managed Browsers in the admin console and navigating to the OU you want and clicking on the yellow + button. This will generate a token for that specific OU that you use in in place of "yourtoken" in the policy above.

Once enrolled any Chrome user policies you apply in the admin console to that OU will apply to the Chrome browser on that device. You can also move browsers from on OU to another.

Policy Precedence
The are multiple ways policy can be applied to the Chrome browser and there is an order of precedence on how they are applied. This order can be set at the OU level in the admin console:
Chrome Profile = policies applied to the user. These only apply if a user turns on "Sync"
Machine Cloud = polices applied to the managed browser using this method
Machine/OS User = policies applied via group policy to either computer or user

So in the setup I'm using on that OU, if a user turns on Sync they get their user policies. If they don't turn on sync they get the Cloud deployed policies and as the browser is in the same OU as the user - these are the same. So the end result is the user gets a managed browser experience whether they like it or not. Turning on Sync allows them to sync their bookmarks.

You could have a machine where you want all users to get the same Chrome policies.  In that case set the precedence on the browser OU to have the machine cloud above the chrome profile and then the machine cloud policies will apply to everyone.

The managed browser approach can also be used alongside Active directory. In this case you apply the token using group policy and then do all of you Chrome Browser settings via the Google Admin Console rather than group policy.



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