New issue
Advanced search Search tips
Note: Color blocks (like or ) mean that a user may not be available. Tooltip shows the reason.

Issue 174465 link

Starred by 23 users

Issue metadata

Status: Verified
Last visit > 30 days ago
Closed: Mar 2013
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Windows
Pri: 2
Type: Bug-Regression

Sign in to add a comment

Shortcuts can't be disabled in Enterprise MSI

Reported by, Feb 5 2013

Issue description

UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1312.52 Safari/537.17

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Using AdminStudio or InstallShield, there is no shortcut table in the MSI.

What is the expected behavior?
In previous versions of Chrome I was able to remove the shortcuts through use of an .mst file. This allows my organization to maintain a clean desktop, start menu, and taskbar.

What went wrong?
Once installed, the MSI makes no shortcuts. However, upon launching Chrome, shortcuts are created on the desktop, taskbar, and Start Menu. The issue persists even with a master_preferences file.

Did this work before? Yes Chrome 21 - 23

Chrome version: 24.0.1312.52  Channel: stable
OS Version: 6.1 (Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2)

I've tried half a dozen workarounds to fix this issue, but none work perfectly. Our distribution method is Novell ZenWorks. The most successful method is currently to push the following files to the appropriate directories:

1. First Run - to prevent shortcuts from being created.
2. master_preferences - so our preferred settings are set by default.
3. Preferences - since master_preferences apparently isn't referenced when First Run exists.

This method is successful in that it works for the first user of the machine. However, any other user that logs on to that machine will see the shortcuts. If there's any other information you'd like me to provide, I'd be more than happy to post it.
master_preferences have a couple of entries that could be used to control this. See and look for "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut", "do_no_create_quick_launch_shortcut", etc. Does using those fix the problem?

Comment 2 by, Feb 12 2013

I tried copying the exact template from that page and running a clean Chrome, but this did not fix my problem. I know that the rest of the master_preferences file work because of the homepages, starting pages, and the EULA that comes up on first run. Could someone verify this? I've tried the very latest (24.1312.60) MSI.
I am able to reproduce the issue using the latest version of the msi (24.0.1312.70)

Comment 4 by, Feb 25 2013

Labels: Hotlist-Enterprise
Joao: We got another customer through enterprise channel asking about this issue. 

Comment 5 by, Feb 26 2013

+Mattias (incase Joao is out) - Any comments on this bug would be good. I personally feel this is an FR at this point and I can work on filing a separate FR if required, or can change this to FR.
Labels: -Type-Bug Type-Feature
Yes, this is a feature request, and we can use this bug. Joao is not out, not sure what you expect from him?

Comment 7 by, Feb 26 2013

Changing to Type-Feature is enough :) Im going to relay this to the enterprise customer who requested this. I just wanted to make sure this is not something we broke recently.

Comment 8 by, Feb 26 2013

As I mentioned, this worked fine in previous versions of Chrome. At least 22 and 23. I suppose it doesn't matter as long as it gets fixed. Thank you for looking into this.

Comment 9 by, Feb 27 2013

We have been using the Enterprise version of Chrome with Windows 7 x64 for a few years now and have never had shortcuts appearing on the desktop, taskbar or user menus.
This included with Chrome 23.0.1271.64

We did not distribute Chrome 24 so can not say if this happened in this version or not, but we are currently testing Chrome 25.0.1364.97 and after running the application the user is getting Chrome shortcuts on the desktop, in the start menu and pinned to the Taskbar.

We do use a master_preferences file, and previously used a setting:
"create_all_shortcuts": false

This seems to be being ignored for 25, but I have added the two suggested settings:
"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,
"do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": true,

The desktop shortcut setting is being honoured as no desktop shortcut is being created, but we are still gettting shortcuts in the start menu and pinned to the taskbar.
If possible I would like options to not have these created.
Labels: Area-Internals
Robert are you aware of any installer changes to shortcut creation?

Comment 11 by Deleted ...@, Mar 5 2013

I'm deploying the latest Enterprise v25.0.1364.152 to Win XP & Win 7 x64 with master_preferences and I'm also getting shortcuts pinned to the taskbar on first launch. 
"create_all_shortcuts" : false, 
"do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": true,
"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true

Windows XP - No desktop shortcut or quick launch
Windows 7 - Icon pinned to the taskbar and no desktop shortcut
There has been some amount of refactoring to the shortcut code in recent months. gab@ and macourteau@ are the experts for shortcuts and master preferences.

Comment 13 by, Mar 5 2013

Labels: -Type-Feature Type-Regression Internals-Install
Status: Assigned
This is a regression. Here is what is happening.

We now use Active Setup to install per-user shortcuts for every user the first time they login after installing Chrome. Active Setup honors master_preferences for do_not_create_desktop_shortcut and do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut.

The reason we didn't add do_not_create_start_menu_shortcut and do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut is that:
1) create_all_shortcuts:false (which is now deprecated, but should still force the equivalent of do_not_create_(desktop|quick_launch)_shortcut:true) actually only had an impact on desktop+quick launch shortcut
2) Those preferences were meant for OEMs that don't want shortcuts to clutter the user's desktop out-of-the-box.

It seems like people on this thread are looking for something different, i.e. that Chrome never creates shortcuts on its own. We didn't think about that use case in the original design, but it's fairly easy to add a global "do_not_create_any_shortcuts" preference to rule them all (instead of adding do_not_create_start_menu_shortcut+do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut since the 2 are entangled (the taskbar shortcut is the pin of the start menu shortcut) and there is no real demand to be able to control these at a fine-grained level).

Joao, you had been looking into adding something similar and this is what I had suggested on the original CL, could you look into this?


Comment 14 by Deleted ...@, Mar 6 2013

The behaviour I see on Windows 7 x64 Enterprise, deployed with the latest MSI (v25.0.1364.152). On a user's first run the following happens:

- The master_preferences file is used to create the basis of the profile
- Regardless of the value of "do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": in the master_preferences, a somewhat broken shortcut is pinned to the taskbar for the user.

The shortcut pinned to the taskbar fails to pick up the Chrome process if it's used, and results in two Chrome icons side by side; the running one and the pinned one (see attached screenshot). This only happens on each user's first-run; if the broken shortcut is unpinned it is not subsequently recreated.

224 KB View Download

Comment 15 by, Mar 6 2013

"do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut" refers to the Quick Launch shortcut On XP/Vista, not the taskbar shortcut; as discussed above, no such preference exists for the taskbar shortcut, I could see an argument for adding one though.

How about adding "do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" to the existing "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut" + "do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut".
Also adding "do_not_create_any_shortcuts" for use cases where even the Start Menu shortcut is undesired (it doesn't make sense to add a "do_not_create_start_menu_shortcut" (as the taskbar shortcut depends on it) unless there is an absolute need to be able to control that one separately as well, but from what I hear: it seems like people that don't want the Start Menu shortcut don't want any other shortcuts either.

Joao, please let me know if you can implement these two preferences (do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut and do_not_create_any_shortcuts). If this is done soon enough we might have a chance at merging this in M26 beta before it goes to stable.

Gab, thanks for the work on this, and something along the lines of 'do_not_create_any_shortcuts' would be appreciated.

I am the desktop manager for a University where we have over 9000 workstations and so we tightly control the start menus, pinned items and destop shortcuts as we have hundreds of applications.
I know if we distributed Chrome 25 at present I would be queried about why new start menu and pinned items appeared and so have held off distributing this at present.

We can delete shortcuts if really necessary, but this then gets messy because some staff users will have already pinned Chrome to their taskbar on their workstation.

Comment 17 by Deleted ...@, Mar 6 2013

Gab, the implementation of "do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" and "do_not_create_any_shortcuts" is exactly what I'm looking for. Like Simon we also tightly control our shortcuts throughout the PCs in our large restaurant chain.
Project Member

Comment 18 by, Mar 7 2013

The following revision refers to this bug:

r186681 | | 2013-03-07T12:30:19.377764Z

Changed paths:

Added master_preferences to control shortcuts on windows.

do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut prevents pinning the start menu shortcut to the taskbar on windows 7 and later.

do_not_create_any_shortcuts is a catch-all that prevents the creation of all shortcuts, including the start menu shortcut.

BUG= 178076 , 174465 

Review URL:
Labels: Mstone-26 Merge-Requested
Status: Fixed
Requesting a merge to 26, since this addresses the regression.
Thank you so much for taking care of this. I, along with my University, greatly appreciate this. Can't wait for the next stable so that we can see this in action.
Thanks for the original report! Please report again if new issues pop up.
Once the fix works in latest canary, I'll approve the merge for M26.

Comment 23 by, Mar 7 2013

QA can verify this in the next MSI build fresh off the official-builders (we don't ship an MSI canary AFAIK).

Though we don't ship MSI for canary, we do build them for every build. QA should able to grab 27.0.1432.0 MSI version and test it.
Project Member

Comment 25 by, Mar 9 2013

Labels: -Feature-Enterprise -Type-Regression -Area-Internals -Internals-Install -Mstone-26 Type-Bug-Regression Cr-Enterprise Cr-Internals Cr-Internals-Install M-26

Comment 26 by, Mar 12 2013

currently running Chrome 25.0.1364.160 m
have not seen this fixed yet. Do I have to wait for Chrome 26.x for this change to be implemented?
This has been fixed only for M27 for now. Any version later than 27.0.1433.0 has the fix.

The latest canary on the Mac is 27.0.1438.0 so I guess the Win canary also has this fix by now.

@Scott: can you verify this, or assign to someone to verify? We'd like to merge to 26.
#26: this won't be fixed in M25.

Comment 29 by, Mar 12 2013

#28: then any eta on publishing the MSI based installer for v26.x for enterprise deployment?
Ligi, could you please assign someone to verify this bug? thanks!
Prudhvi .. could u please verify the fix in canary.
Verified the issue on Win8/7 using chrome 27.0.1438.7.  I was unable to test the using Chrome MSI. 

Steps Followed : 
1. Installed chrome using attached master_pref(chrome.exe --installerdata="<path to master_pref>"

do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut : Doesn't create any Taskbar shortcut on Win8/7.
do_not_create_any_shortcuts : Doesn't create any Shortcuts on Win8/7.

Note : 
do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut : true, creates a shortcut on Start menu(Win7) and Start screen(Win8)

217 bytes View Download
130 bytes View Download
174 bytes View Download

Comment 33 by, Mar 14 2013

Where can I get the 27.x build of chrome for Windows? Google is still publishing the 25.x code for the offline installer and for the MSI builds.
You can try dev/canary for Windows:

The MSI only will get updated when the respective release hits stable, but the Chrome binary in the MSI is identical to the one that gets installed via the consumer installer, so the latter should be fine for testing.
#32: thanks, that's exactly was is expected! Setting "do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" still creates the start menu shortcuts, but not the taskbar items.

@dharani: ready to merge to 26? :-)
Labels: -Merge-Requested Merge-Approved
Project Member

Comment 37 by, Mar 14 2013

Labels: -Merge-Approved merge-merged-1410
The following revision refers to this bug:

r188109 | | 2013-03-14T17:19:27.014487Z

Changed paths:

Merge 186681 "Added master_preferences to control shortcuts on w..."

> Added master_preferences to control shortcuts on windows.
> do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut prevents pinning the start menu shortcut to the taskbar on windows 7 and later.
> do_not_create_any_shortcuts is a catch-all that prevents the creation of all shortcuts, including the start menu shortcut.
> BUG= 178076 , 174465 
> Review URL:
Review URL:

Comment 38 by, Mar 15 2013

How can we call these new parameters at install time?

You guys tested with (chrome.exe --installerdata="<path to master_pref>")

But if we're using the enterprise MSI, can we point msiexec to master_prefs file at installation time?

Comment 39 by, Mar 15 2013

Maybe I'm wrong, but master_preferences is checked at first launch, right? The way I've been distributing is to install the MSI, push master_preferences to appropriate directory, and then launch. No shortcuts are created before launch.

Comment 40 by, Mar 19 2013

I've just tested, and an install on a clean system with the MSI (msiexec /qn /norestart /i GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise.msi), with master_prefs copied into places straight after, results in the Google Chrome icon pinned to the taskbar on Windows 7. This is without the Chrome browser being starting at all.

Shortcuts do seem to be pinned to taskbar before launch. I suspect this may be via RunOnce or RunOnceEx in windows profile?

Comment 41 by, Mar 29 2013

Hi again. I'm happy to report that using "do_not_create_any_shortcuts":true does suppress the taskbar shortcut being created. However, now it seems that the desktop shortcut and Start Menu shortcut continue to be created. While this is normally an easy fix to remove of, the desktop shortcut is sometimes (not sure if always) created in the "Public" user desktop. On our machines, the user would not be able to remove of the shortcut without admin rights. Running 26.0.1410.43 m. Attached is a copy of the master_preferences file in case I'm not using it right (documentation doesn't seem to have changed).
716 bytes View Download
@Geoff: what version of Chrome did you use? The taskbar icon can only be disabled on version 27 or later.

@Sanamkan: "do_not_create_any_shortcuts" is only available since version 27, so version 26 won't use that master preference. 26 also didn't create the taskbar icon, so you have to test again with 27 or later.
Just tried disabling the Windows 7 taskbar pinned icon on version 26.0.1410.43 - Seems to work ok... 
"create_all_shortcuts" : false,
"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,		

I see same result as Sanamkan with desktop icon being created when the browser is first run on.

I will retry when v27 enterprise MSI is available.

Comment 44 by, Apr 2 2013

I also see the same issue as Geoff ans Sanamkan with 26.0.1410.43.  After installing from the MSI, I delete the all users/public desktop shortcut and overwrite the managed_preferences file with a customized one.  do_not_create_desktop_shortcut seems to be ignored when it comes to the shortcut on the user's desktop.  do_not_create_any_shortcuts prevents the quick launch shortcut, but not the desktop one.

Someone in another thread suggested that these settings should be added to the ADM/ADMX template.  I definitely think that is the way to go.  In my setup we were able to manage all the settings that we want through group policy except for the shortcuts.  It seems unnecessarily complex to manage settings in two different places.  It makes sense to me to make it so that any setting in managed_preferences can be set in Group Policy on Windows, Profile Manager on Macs, etc.
Project Member

Comment 46 by, Apr 5 2013

Labels: -Cr-Internals-Install Cr-Internals-Installer
I agree with #44 adding this to the ADM/ADMX template would be the ideal way to keep customization's consistent and preferable to managing some settings on the users desktops as well as through GP. 
We have been testing with the 27.0.1453.94 MSI today, and we're still not satisfied with the options for manipulating Desktop and Start Menu shortcuts - if they were being created in system / computer locations (ProgramData and Public\Desktop) via the Shortcuts table in the MSI itself, transforming the MSI would be trivial, but they still seem to be sporadically created in user profile locations, given Chrome decides to create them at runtime (ignoring the master_preferences when it feel like it).

Specifically, we are trying to consistently handle shortcuts for Chrome so that none are created on the desktop and only a single "Google Chrome.lnk" is created in the root Start Menu "All Programs" list - as it stands, we haven't been able to consistently get Chrome to stop dropping shortcuts in all of these places (no desktop icon for any user, no "Google Chrome" folder in the Start Menu "All Programs").

Having the ability to either transform the MSI for full control of shortcuts or fully control them via Group Policy would be wonderful!

Comment 49 by, May 23 2013

Yes, master_preferences to control this were added to the installer a while back, but somehow these are no longer honored by Active Setup (which we run to finish installing per-user shortcuts). This issue is tracked in 232940 and we're looking into it.

Thanks for your feedback,

Comment 50 by, May 23 2013

 Issue 232940  (for it to be rendered as a link).

Comment 51 by Deleted ...@, Jun 7 2013

version 27.0.1453.110 also ignores disabling desktop and quick launch shortcuts in the master_preferences file.
I cannot seem to suppress the creation of the public desktop shortcut in the MSI for version 27.0.1453.116.  If I delete the shortcut after the install it will reappear under the user's desktop folder once chrome is launched despite including all of the following in the master_preferences file. This installer seems to be over complicating what should be one of the most simple items to create. Creating shortcuts at runtime would not be necessary if the GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise.msi were a true MSI instead of a wrapper around the native chrome installer. There is nothing Enterprise about it.     

"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut" : true,
"do_not_create_any_shortcuts" : true,
"create_all_shortcuts" : false,
"do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" : true,
696 bytes View Download

Comment 53 by, Jul 3 2013

We are aware of this regression on Chrome 27 and it has been fixed in Chrome 28 which should hit the stable channel in the upcoming weeks.

(the problem in this case is not with the installer, but with the new profile shortcuts Chrome feature which has regressed this)

Introducing a full fledge MSI would actually increase the degree of complexity on our end, and (as it would go untested by most developer) would likely increase the source of installer bugs making it to stable for you :(.

We are considering making it possible to change install-time master_preferences for the MSI via an MSI variable (tracked in issue 244281).

Comment 54 by Deleted ...@, Jul 3 2013

I hope the suggestion ( #44 and #47 ) to add the option in the ADM/ADMX will be implemented for the upcoming release as well
I have been testing this morning with Chrome 28 and from the brief testing I am happy that using the settings

"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut" : true,
"do_not_create_any_shortcuts" : true,
"create_all_shortcuts" : false,
"do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" : true,

in the master preferences file does seem to stop the desktop, task bar and menu shortcuts from being created.

Many thanks for this.
I can not look at updating Chrome again.

The phrase "I can not look at updating Chrome again"
should of course have been:
"I can now look at updating Chrome again"
Apologies for any confusion.

Comment 57 by, Jul 12 2013

Status: Verified
Awesome, thanks for confirming that this works as intended for you now.

Comment 58 by, Oct 27 2013

This is NOT fixed in Enterprise Version 30.0.1599.101 m.

I am so annoyed that now I have to log in 140 times as users to undo this mess. I am using Chrome as a kiosk. I cannot have shortcuts on the desktops - this is an RD server (2008R2). Is there a file I can delete to stop this madness?
@cath: I don't think you're having the same problem as the original report here.  Could be a new one, I guess.  All is working OK for me, AFAIK.

Can you describe exactly what your problem is?  Which kind of shortcut are you getting, and at what point is it created - during installation, when logging on, when running Chrome?  Do you have the settings in the master preferences file described in post #55?

Comment 60 by, Oct 28 2013

Oh yay, a response! 

Okay, here are the facts: I downloaded the Enterprise version of 
Google Chrome Version 30.0.1599.101 m. I am the IT Administrator for a small company. We have two Remote Desktop servers. I have an application that is web-based and uses the browser as its GUI (annoying).

Surfing the internet is prohibited on our RD servers (they use the local desktops for that). I am using Google in kiosk mode (it beat the hell out of IE for this purpose). The shortcut has a different icon for the application.

I installed Chrome as administrator. I did not want a shortcut on any desktops or in any taskbars. 

When I installed I was unaware of the master preferences file so did not set anything. I have found it since and entered code, but it doesn't seem to be stopping shortcuts. I realize it won't stop ones that are already there, but it isn't stopping shortcuts on new logins, either.

Anyway, every time a user logs on, a shortcut is created on the desktop and in the taskbar. I want this behavior stopped.

Is the master prefs file the answer? Should I uninstall and reinstall, this time setting up the master prefs file first? If the master prefs files IS the answer, I can show you what I have entered in to it, but I'll wait for your response.

Thank you!
Cathy - Maine

The master_preferences file needs to be put in the same place as the Chrome executable. If the file exists, and is valid JSON, Chrome will honor it whenever creating a *new profile*. If your users have Chrome profiles already, master_preferences will not do anything for you. You will need to remove the profiles first in order to have master_preferences kick in.

Comment 62 by, Oct 28 2013

1. Chrome Profiles: How would I get rid of these? Will an uninstall remove all chrome profiles AND all shortcuts?

2. Here is what is in my master prefs:
{"distribution":{"msi":true,"system_level":true,"verbose_logging":true, "skip_first_run_ui" : true, "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,""do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut": true,}}

3. The master prefs file is here: C:\Program Files (x86)\google\chrome\application
The chrome.exe is also in that same location.

Re #62:

1) Profiles are stored in each user's data directory. Uninstalling Chrome will not remove any profiles.

2) There are a few more settings you should set. Also, this file is not falid JSON. I have not verified this recently myself but according to #55 above, the settings you want are:

"do_not_create_desktop_shortcut" : true,
"do_not_create_any_shortcuts" : true,
"create_all_shortcuts" : false,
"do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" : true,

3) That is the correct location then.

Comment 64 by, Oct 28 2013

How would I remove the profiles manually so I can start over? 

Thank you for the settings!
You will have to ask someone with a lot more Windows administration experience. I do not know whether it is possible to automatically remove subdirectories from all users' data directories.

Comment 66 by, Oct 28 2013

Actually, I just meant literally MANUALLY remove them. Is this the location:


These folders are there:
Crash Reports

According to it should be:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\

Assuming your LOCALAPPDATA is C:\Users\administrator.secc\AppData\Local, you should be looking at the right directory, yes.

Comment 68 by, Oct 28 2013

Okay, I am going to uninstall Chrome and start fresh. Wow, great learning experience - thank you so much!

Comment 69 by, Oct 28 2013

Hey, can you recommend a reliable site from where to get master preferences? Since I'm starting from scratch, I'd like to have a bunch of things set - like no bugging for updates, no saving passwords, etc etc.

I don't know what a valid "JSON" is but I want to be valid!

Thanks again!
There's a good example of a typical master_preferences file in the source code here:

That's just an example though, and not an exhaustive list of all the preferences that can be set.

Re: valid JSON, you can search for [json validator], and you should be able to find online services where you can copy-paste your JSON, and the site will tell you whether it's valid or not.
Remember that master_preferences are not a supported feature. Some things (such as desktop icons) can currently only be controlled through master_preferences, so there is little choice there. But for controlling things like auto-update, password management, etc., you should be using policy (cloud policy or GPO).

Comment 72 by, Oct 28 2013

Would it make sense to add GPOs for shortcuts? Enterprise seems to want this the most; yet specifying master_preferences at install time via the MSI is not supported right now... so that the only option is to drop master_preferences by chrome.exe (which in this case will prevent per-user shortcuts from being created on user logins, but won't prevent all-users shortcuts from being created on install).
Re #72: We are expanding policy coverage but shortcuts are a tricky case as some are created by the installer (outside the scope of policies), others are created early enough in the start-up sequence that policy may not be loaded yet... Improving the current situation is something we would like to do but we do not have a good solution yet.

Comment 74 by, Oct 28 2013

I see, could setup.exe be made GPO-aware?

At least a generic way for the MSI to know where to load a custom master_preferences from (i.e., akin to --installerdata for mini_installer.exe) would be nice.

Re #74: We are exploring many ideas. This should be tracked in a separate FR though, not in this bug, which has been closed and verified for a long time.

Firstly, I haven't tried version 30 of Chrome yet (it's on my list of jobs!), but assuming the settings to not create shortcuts still works as it did in versions 28 & 29 then I have posted this to help you in case you're still having problems, and this just what I have discovered from experience so might not be totally correct...

First of all, ensure you've used the Enterprise version of Chrome, which is available from:

Once installed the Chrome.exe should be in the folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application

As mentioned, in this folder create a master_preferences file with your required settings.

An example of the one I use for our students in a UK university is:

  "homepage" : "", 
  "homepage_is_newtabpage" : false, 
  "browser" : { 
    "show_home_button" : true, 
    "check_default_browser" : false
  "bookmark_bar" : { 
    "show_on_all_tabs" : true 
  "distribution" : { 
    "skip_first_run_ui" : true, 
    "show_welcome_page" : true, 
    "import_search_engine" : true, 
    "import_history" : false, 
    "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut" : true,
    "do_not_create_any_shortcuts" : true,
    "create_all_shortcuts" : false,
    "do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut" : true,
    "do_not_launch_chrome" : true, 
    "make_chrome_default" : false 
  "sync_promo": {
    "startup_count": 1,
    "user_skipped": true,
    "view_count": 1
   "intl": {
      "accept_languages": "en-US,en,en-GB"
  "spellcheck": {
      "dictionary": "en-GB"
  "download": {
      "extensions_to_open": "docx:xlsx",
      "prompt_for_download": true
  "profile": {
        "password_manager_enabled": false
  "first_run_tabs" : [ 

Amend as required obviously.

When a user first launches Chrome the Chrome settings are created in the folder:
and the setting in master_preferences are used to create the preferences file in the folder 'C:\Users\code\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default'

For testing on you test accounts and test servers just update master_preferences file and delete the Chrome directory in the profile, then re-launch Chrome. Once happy, transfer to live service.


Comment 77 by, Oct 29 2013


Wow, thanks - geez, this is an awesome forum!

I removed the last Chrome install and am starting over. However, one very annoying thing: The Chrome icons pinned to the taskbars in all the profiles are still there! I have tried almost every trick in the geek book to get rid of them, short of logging on as every single user and removing them manually. Any thoughts? (Yes, I'm straying from the topic, apologies...) 
Unfortunately, removing pinned items from the taskbar is not that simple as they are a combination of shortcuts in the user profile and references in HKCU section of the registry so just deleting the link in the profile will lead to an unknown icon on the taskbar.
This is a Microsoft OS issue of course, nothing to do with Chrome.

If you search the internet there are scripts available than can be run to delete pinned items.

I use the Powershell module from:

This can be run from Group Policy loginscripts to create and delete pinned items, but as I say, it's not that easy.
It might just be easier to suggest to your users they unpin the taskbar shortcut themselves if there aren't that many of them or they won't get too upset at the request.

Comment 79 by, Oct 29 2013

Okay, thanks. I have sent out the e-mail to all staff to remove those shortcuts. Over time, I'll log in and do it as well.

You all are great - I really appreciate all the help!
I have a question.  We are pushing out chrome enterprise to about 10000 users in our environment and require no shortcuts to be created anywhere.  I created a master_preferences file with the following however we will be deploying this to all machines remotely with landesk and I can't figure out how to avoid an icon being created on users desktops since the master_preferences file isn't initiated until after chrome browser is already installed and executed.  The desktop icon is always created at initial install on users desktop even with the master_preferences file in place??  Also the desktop icon doesn't get removed after chrome in initially started anyways even with the master_preferences in place.  What am I missing here?  Thanks!

    "homepage": "",
    "homepage_is_newtabpage": false,
    "browser": {
        "show_home_button": true,
        "check_default_browser": false
    "session": {
        "restore_on_startup": 4,
        "urls_to_restore_on_startup": [
    "bookmark_bar": {
        "show_on_all_tabs": true
    "distribution": {
        "auto_launch_chrome": false,
        "show_welcome_page": false,
        "skip_first_run_ui": true,
        "suppress_first_run_bubble": true,
        "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,
        "do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": true,
        "do_not_create_taskbar_shortcut": true,
        "do_not_create_any_shortcuts": true,
        "do_not_launch_chrome": true,
        "do_not_register_for_update_launch": true,
        "create_all_shortcuts": false,
        "make_chrome_default": false,
        "make_chrome_default_for_user": false,
        "suppress_first_run_default_browser_prompt": true,
        "require_eula": false
    "first_run_tabs": [
Re #80:

What do you mean by "the master_preferences file isn't initiated until after chrome browser is already installed and executed"? Are you saying that the master_preferences file is not in place when Chrome runs for the first time? If so, the master_preferences file will not be honored. Chrome only ever honors master_preferences on its first run. You will need to make sure that the file is in place before Chrome runs for the first time.

Installing a master_preferences file or changing its contents after Chrome has been run will do nothing.
What I mean is that the master preferences file does nothing to change the icon creation options of the initial chrome install, during which an icon is created on the current logged in users desktop.  Then after its installed and the master preferences file is in place when you run chrome for the first time, the icon on the desktop is not removed.

Comment 83 Deleted

Ah, I think now I understand: You mean an icon is created by the installer, during the installation process, not by Chrome, during its first run? Yes, both the installer and Chrome are capable of creating icons. And both can be told through master_preferences not to create any icons. I am not familiar enough with the installer to know which keys in master_preferences will prevent it from creating icons though.

The fact that Chrome does not remove any icons is expected. master_preferences can only prevent Chrome from creating new icons. They will never cause Chrome to remove any icons.
Yes I guess I would need some way to prevent the installer from creating an icon if that's possible.
@Dcolavec: depending on your exact deployment method, it might be easier to just let the installer create the shortcut, then delete it at the same time that you add in your master_preferences file.

Comment 87 by, Oct 30 2013

So with the MSI it turns out it's hard to specify master_preferences at install time (issue 244281); so you will get the "All Users" desktop/start menu shortcuts upon installing Google Chrome via the MSI.

You can manually delete those global shortcuts.

Upon finding no shortcuts on first run though Chrome will create per-user shortcuts; to prevent Chrome from creating these as well you need the master_preferences by chrome.exe with "do_not_create_any_shortcuts": true.

Thanks! I was able to delete all the desktop and start menu shortcuts created by chrome on install with a BAT file script, copy over the master preferences file and all is working perfect now.

Comment 89 by, Oct 30 2013

Did it delete chrome taskbar/quick launch shortcuts? That is my biggest problem.
The taskbar/quick launch shortcuts weren't created during install, just desktop and start menu.

Comment 91 by, Oct 30 2013

In my case, using the Enterprise installer, taskbar/quick launch shortcuts were created. Even after uninstalling Chrome, the shortcuts remained in the taskbar.

The only way I have found to get rid of them, is to log in as each user and delete them.

I tried a bat file to reset the task bar, and it removed all the shortcuts except for the Chrome shortcut. Also, um, I ran it while users were on the remote desktop (drool)......everyone lost their task bar (this was an uber stupid move on my part, it's like some alien force took over my hand and double-clicked that bat file).

Comment 92 by, Oct 30 2013

The MSI installer can only install All Users shortcuts for the Start Menu/Desktop (it runs as SYSTEM so it has no notion of per-user shortcuts -- Quick Launch and Taskbar shortcuts don't have a system-wide equivalent).

Chrome itself (or Active Setup on the next user login) will create per-user shortcuts (i.e. taskbar/quick launch + desktop/startmenu if their All-Users counterpart are gone).

All of these creation can be prevented with the master_preferences file specifying do_not_create_*_shortcut.

Since it's hard to specify a master_preferences file for the MSI at install time, you might have trouble preventing the installer from originally dropping the All Users shortcuts, but if you then manually delete those and put the master_preferences beside chrome.exe; all further invocations of Active Setup or Chrome which would create shortcuts will honor the master_preferences.

See for more details.


Comment 93 by Deleted ...@, Jul 21 2014

what would be the correct settings if i only want a start menu icon to be generated, no taskbar, no desktop shortcut?

Comment 94 by, Jul 22 2014

This is what worked for me - these are the instructions I made up based on
all the help I got on this forum (thanks!):

On admin profile install Chrome *using enterprise MSI*


   - Delete shortcut from public desktop
   - Delete start menu folder
   - Go to "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\master_preferences"
   - Open in Notepad
   - Remove what is in that file and paste this in:

    "distribution": {
        "msi": true,
        "system_level": true,
        "verbose_logging": true,
        "multi_install": true,
        "system_level": true,
"do_not_create_any_shortcuts": true,
        "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,
        "do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": true,
"show_welcome_page": false,
        "skip_first_run_ui": true,
        "check_default_browser": false,
        "suppress_first_run_bubble": true,
        "suppress_first_run_default_browser_prompt": true,
        "do_not_register_for_update_launch": true,
        "suppress_first_run_default_browser_prompt": true,
        "do_not_launch_chrome": true


Log in as another user to make sure it worked.

I hope this helps!

Cathy in Maine

Comment 95 by, Jul 22 2014

Well, if all you care about is to suppress the desktop/taskbar shortcut you only need to add this to the JSON in your master_preferences:

    "distribution": {
        "do_not_create_desktop_shortcut": true,
        "do_not_create_quick_launch_shortcut": true

(and you want to keep whatever else was already in that file too)

Comment 96 by, Jul 22 2014

I probably should have explained - I was installing it on a remote desktop
server used by about 60 users and wanted to suppress shortcuts for various

Comment 97 by Deleted ...@, Sep 22 2014

Found the solution to the desktop creating at each users first login here:

The synopsis is that at install a registry key is created that will build the icon when a new user logs in first time. The key is under  HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components. Do a Find for "Google Chrome" under there.  Then delete the parent key for the value found. The parent key will be a UID, in my case the key with full path looked like this: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{8A69D345-D564-463c-AFF1-A69D9E530F96}.

Apparently the issue of not being able to suppress the Public shortcut creating have not been resolved at all since its creation more than 4 years ago.

Having to implement various local solutions, such as removing the Public desktop icon after install, is not a solution, but a workaround.

The correct solution would to be able to simply remove the shortcut from the shortcut table, or even setting a property that disables the creation of the various shortcuts.

I've confirmed the creation of the Public desktop icon behavior in the latest version "58.0.3029.96".

Sign in to add a comment