Setting the proxy for all users

Today, I had to debug a strange problem. We have a web application that does some fancy printing. The main application server is a Unix machine, the print component lives on Windows. The network between these two has all sorts of fun firewall rules that HTTP type requests can navigate so long as the proxy on the machine is setup correctly. Unfortunately, the Windows test box didn’t have the proxy setup correctly and I didn’t have easy access to the one account that runs the service. To make the proxy set for all users, I had to ask my good friend, Google, how to do this. Google answered “Change the default connection policy for all users.” Google didn’t explain how to do this very nicely (what a jerk!).

I then thought that maybe Google didn’t have the whole answer in one place. (not a jerk!) So, I asked Google “How do I set the local policy on a Windows 2003 server?”

Google answered, “Start–>Run–>gpedit.msc”. Cool, gpedit.msc is the name of the Group Policy Editor and it is a Microsoft Management Console plugin (yeah, you can get all that info from the filename if you live in Windows long enough– I’ve in some sort of Microsoft DOS/Windows mode since 1984).

From there, I just figured things out. So that you too can benefit from my digging, here is the info:

  1. Navigate to User Configuration–>Windows Settings–>Internet Explorer Maintenance–>Connection
  2. Double click on ‘Proxy Settings’
  3. Set your proxy.

These settings then get applied to all users, including those whose passwords you can’t recall:) For what it’s worth, this also works on Windows XP. I haven’t tried Vista, but I bet the results are the same there too.

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