F5 F6 F7 F8 Red Green. Where are my IE Settings?

by Ed Sparks

Another gem from our friends at Microsoft - this time from the always-a-disaster Group Policy team.

Don't get me wrong, I still think Group Policy is a superbly useful management technology baked for free into Windows. and generally very well supported by Microsoft.  However, the (in)consistentcy of the implementation between OS versions and various product teams at the company is appalling and ridiculous.

This was most recently illustrated while implementing some GPOs for a client needing to manage Internet Explorer.  (Let's give an honourable mention to the IE 10/11 GPO debacle while we're at it) .

In order to have the settings take effect when using the IE Preferences section of a GPO, the vast majority of the items you click on or change HAVE NO EFFECT - unless - SERIOUSLY - you press F5 F6 F7 F8 to toggle the enablement of the sections between various states.  Of course nowhere in the help text does it give any indication this is the case apart from some obscure red squiggly lines or circles that show up under various settings.  No right click, no checkbox.  Nope. F5 6-7-8.

A complete disaster of discovererability and design.  

What happens if you don't randomly think to press these arbitrary keys?  Well your GPO just goes into the bit bucket.  Of course the Group Policy Result on your client will show it as being implemented, but it just magically doesn't. 

Beautifully done Microsoft! 

The Technet article of hilarity:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/grouppolicy/archive/2008/10/13/red-green-gp-preferences-doesn-t-work-even-though-the-policy-applied-and-after-gpupdate-force.aspx

 Do you see the red line?  Didn't think so.

Do you see the red line?  Didn't think so.