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Using Group Policy to block a domain from our browser extension

Applies to: VisualSP
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Scenario: You install the Ask Vic or VisualSP browser extension and you discover that another third party app has a compatibility problem with our extension and either doesn't work, or causes a slowdown in your environment. This is a workaround that will show you how to exclude our application from the site that has the conflict.

This workaround uses the same process as our bulk installation instructions and can be applied to any browser. You are just using a different setting. Instead of the list of forced extensions as we do in the bulk installation instructions, we are going to configure a group policy to block our extension from showing the help tab on the site that has the conflict.

Make sure that the site you want to target doesn't have the VisualSP custom action installed and that only the browser extension is being used. (How to tell which one is installed)

You can use this process to exclude either Ask Vic or VisualSP. They only difference is the extension ID number will be different. The process is the same.

In this example we will show how to make this configuration for Chrome. For Edge and Firefox, the configuration steps are similar.

Open your Group Policy Management application and navigate to the Chrome Control Policy Object: <domain name> -> Group Policy Objects ->  Chrome Control Policy Object. Right click on Chrome Control Policy Object and click Edit.


Navigate to: User Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Classic -> Google -> Google Chrome -> Extensions

Click on Extension Management Settings:

Click the Enabled radio button:

You will get a blank field to insert a string of text in:


You will want to insert a JSON string that will be similar to this string:

{"ohdihpdgfenligmhnmldmiabdhflokkh": {"runtime_blocked_hosts": ["*://<domain-name>.<sitename>.com"]}}

This first part of the string is the ID of the extension:  ohdihpdgfenligmhnmldmiabdhflokkh. You can find the extension ID in the app store URL or in the manage extension page of your browser.

This is the name of the setting: runtime_blocked_hosts

This is the site we want to block: *://<domain-name>.<sitename>.com

You will want to replace the extension ID with the one that applies to you, and create a pattern in here that matches the site or application that you want to block.

Copy all of the text and paste it into the Extension Management Settings field. Please note: you cannot paste line breaks into this field. So if you copy something from online you want to make sure it is all one line of text. If there is a line break the blank field won't take it.

Once the text is in the field, click OK to save it, then close out the window.

Refresh the view of the policy and confirm that it is in there and that it is saved as part of the policy.

Group policy doesn't take effect on any given computer immediately. There is an interval where it refreshes policies and pushes things out. You can always go to a command line window and type GPUpdate /force. This tells it to update now, don't wait for the next interval. It will do the computer half first and then it will do the user half.

If you're in a company network that has multiple domain controllers, you might have to either trigger those domain controllers to synchronize with each other or wait 15 minutes or so before you see this happen.

For the changes to take effect you typically have to close your browser and open it again.

This is a good workaround for our customers that may have custom applications or third party applications that you just want to exclude completely from our browser extension.

Updated on October 25, 2022

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