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Failing to consistently set default search engine for Firefox ESR 68.1 using Group Policy Objects (GPO)

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Hello !

I'm trying to create a GPO that would set the default search engine of Firefox ESR 68.1 to Qwant by using the Default Search Engine policy. My problem is after the initial installation, if I change manually the search engine in the options (about:preferences) for some other search engine (Bing for instance) it does not revert to Qwant when I run the gpupdate /force command to apply my GPO once more. Is this an expected behaviour ?

I have also observed, while Qwant is the default engine, that if I edit my GPO and set the Default Search Engine policy to Bing the search engine will change to Bing on Firefox when I apply the GPO (using the same command as before : gpupdate /force), and if I change it again to Qwant in the GPO and apply it, Qwant will be set as the default search engine for Firefox.

Therefore I don't understand why as long as I don't modify the GPO the Default Search Engine policy don't seem to be applied even when using the /force in the command line (which is supposed to apply all the parameters if I am not mistaken).

Other informations : - The default search engine is, as expected, set to Qwant when I install Firefox and there is no profile - The default search engine reverts to Qwant when I use the Refresh Firefox button in the Troubleshouting Information

I hope I was clear in my explanations and thanks those who will answer to my post ! :)

被采纳的解决方案

The "Default Search Engine" is only the default option, meaning that it's the option that will be used when the Firefox profile is first created. It doesn't mean that the user is in any way restricted from changing the search engine if they want to.

The reason it's changing when you edit the GPO is because Firefox detects the GPO change and reapplies the rule, setting the search setting back to the default.

This is the intended behaviour of this policy.

What you could probably do is remove the default search engines using the GPO, then set the default to the search engine that you added and prevent the user from installing search engines. That would hypothetically make the only available search engine be the one that you want the user to use, but I'm not sure if that would prevent the users from pressing the button to restore the default search engines and then be able to change to something else.

Currently though, I don't believe there is any way to lock the search engine selection.

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选择的解决方案

The "Default Search Engine" is only the default option, meaning that it's the option that will be used when the Firefox profile is first created. It doesn't mean that the user is in any way restricted from changing the search engine if they want to.

The reason it's changing when you edit the GPO is because Firefox detects the GPO change and reapplies the rule, setting the search setting back to the default.

This is the intended behaviour of this policy.

What you could probably do is remove the default search engines using the GPO, then set the default to the search engine that you added and prevent the user from installing search engines. That would hypothetically make the only available search engine be the one that you want the user to use, but I'm not sure if that would prevent the users from pressing the button to restore the default search engines and then be able to change to something else.

Currently though, I don't believe there is any way to lock the search engine selection.

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That is correct, we don't set the engine at every startup. The intent is that you set the default and the user can choose to change it if they want.

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Thank you very much for your answers !

I also thought about removing the other search engines, i will try this solution.