Prevent the “Your browser has been upgraded” tab in Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s June Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (MS14-035 / KB2957689) had a change that caught many IT departments off guard. If you’re in an environment running Windows 7 with either Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10 your users may have received an additional tab that opened after the reboot from their monthly updates applying:

Internet-Explorer-Your-browser-has-been-upgraded

Your browser has been upgraded… sort of… with a monthly security patch…

Initially, users were redirected to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/products/ie-9/windows-internet-explorer-9-privacy-statement, a rather lengthy privacy statement for Internet Explorer 9. After customer complaints user feedback, Microsoft altered the redirect to send users to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/ie-9-welcome-upgrade3.

Unfortunately, this still isn’t expected behavior in a corporate environment. End users tend to either ignore something like this completely or open a help desk ticket costing the IT organization money in the form of the help desk request. The problem is compounded by: (#1) Microsoft not warning corporate IT departments this change was coming, (#2) Microsoft not giving corporate IT departments a way to suppress the extra tab with the warning, and (#3) some users receiving the additional tab every time they open an IE window instead of seeing it just once.

The good news is that this extra tab can be suppressed with a Registry entry. The easiest way to do this in a managed environment is with Group Policy.  In a Group Policy Object (GPO) that applies to user accounts, go to User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry.  Right-click on Registry and choose New > Registry Item.

Group Policy Management Editor Add new Registry entryIn the Properties for the new Registry item, set the following:

Action:  Update
Hive:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Value Name: PrivacyPolicyShown
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 00000001

PrivacyPolicyShown PropertiesObviously this won’t help you for the hordes of end users that have already received the extra tab, but it should prevent anyone logging into a system for the first time from seeing it down the road.

Kyle Beckman

Kyle Beckman

Kyle is a Systems Administrator with 15+ years of experience. He currently works in Higher Education supporting everything from smartphones to desktop PC's to Hyper-V Failover Clusters. (If it has a IP address, he probably supports it!) He has also worked in Small Business IT consulting supporting a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Kyle is also the Vice President of the Atlanta Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group (WINVUG).You can find additional articles he's written on 4sysops.com.
Kyle Beckman

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