onfire247
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Disable Chrome "What's New" Tab

After recently updating Chrome, users now receive a "What's New" tab via Chrome every time they log into our non-persistent instant clone employee pool. If they close the tab and reopen Chrome in the same session it will not reopen the problematic tab, but after a reboot it comes right back. 

Does anyone have a fix for this behavior that I can push out through DEM?

Here is my DEM profile for Chrome:

 

[IncludeFiles]
<AppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\profile.pb
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\First Run
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Local State
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Preferences
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Login Data
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\History
<AppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\profile.pb

[IncludeFolderTrees]
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bpgncafocbpieaeigfcookhgmeamglgo
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cfiiaghkcgclikdbpkeemjbkjegemjmb
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\feolagkacappiaieohahjkeaikhjjcfa
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fmiojochalhealflohaicjncoofdjjfb

[IncludeRegistryTrees]
HKCU\Software\Google\Chrome
HKCU\Software\MozillaPlugins

[ExcludeFolderTrees]
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Application Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Code Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Media Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Service Worker
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Session Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\System Profile\Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\GPUCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Data
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Data Backup
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\CacheWriteableAdobeRoot
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\IndexedDB
#Google
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nmmhkkegccagdldgiimedpiccmgmieda
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blpcfgokakmgnkcojhhkbfbldkacnbeo
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\aapocclcgogkmnckokdopfmhonfmgoek
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\aohghmighlieiainnegkcijnfilokake
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\apdfllckaahabafndbhieahigkjlhalf
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\felcaaldnbdncclmgdcncolpebgiejap
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjkljhegncpnkpknbcohdijeoejaedia
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Application Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Code Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Local Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Media Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Session Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\GPUCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Web Applications
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Sync Data
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Sync Data Backup
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\CacheWriteableAdobeRoot
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\IndexedDB
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Application Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Code Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Local Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Media Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Session Storage
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\GPUCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Web Applications
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Sync Data
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Sync Data Backup
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\CacheWriteableAdobeRoot
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\IndexedDB
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\BrowserMetrics
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\WidevineCDM
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\EVWhitelist
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\pnacl
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\recovery
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwiftShader
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\ShaderCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\PepperFlash
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\Application\

[ExcludeFiles]
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\ChromeDWriteFontCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cookies
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Favicons
#<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\History
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Last Session
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\ChromeDWriteFontCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2\ChromeDWriteFontCache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\BrowserMetrics-spare.pma
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\CrashpadMetrics-active.pma
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Module Info Cache
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Local State
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing Cookies
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing Bloom
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing Bloom Prefix Set
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing Download
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing UwS List
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Safe Browsing UwS List Prefix Set
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\ev_hashes_whitelist.bin
*.tmp

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4 Replies
TechMassey
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I no longer deploy Chrome but your likely facing a common challenge across all browsers. The new features tab is on all the browsers now and it can typically be disabled by the vendor supplied GPO ADMX template. 

You are going to want to combine your DEM Chrome profile with the Google Enterprise GPO ADMX template. With the latest versions of DEM, you can embed this GPO into the GPO section of DEM. Then set the settings for the new tab feature, I haven't looked into it but its likely overwriting the previous homepage or adding a second tab to launch which is configurable in the ADMX.  


Please help out! If you find this post helpful and/or the correct answer. Mark it! It helps recgonize contributions to the VMTN community and well me too 🙂
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onfire247
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for the suggestion. I downloaded the most recent policy package from Chrome but I do not see a policy that affects the "What's New" tab. 

 

I found a post on Reddit by Stingwray11 that suggested changing the Chrome shortcut to the following:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --disable-features=ChromeWhatsNewUI

This change does disable it when launched from the shortcut but sadly does not affect the pinned taskbar or start menu versions.

 

The search continues...

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TechMassey
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

That is interesting, based on that I tested deploying Chrome Enterprise. 

  1. First, I downloaded Chrome Enterprise stable: 99.0.4844.82 and I also tested Consumer Chrome Stable: 99.0.4844.82
  2. Opening did not start the new tab but I could force it by going to 'chrome://flags/' in the URL field. 
  3. Opening 'chrome://flags/#chrome-whats-new-ui' I found I could disable the functionality. 


Given that I couldn't duplicate the issue, there are three possibilities I can think of. 


1. chrome://whats-new/ was set as a default tab or similar setting and DEM captured the setting. 
      a. Can you verify the issue occurs on the Gold Parent without DEM loading and that the default new tab behavior is default? 


2. The setting is controlled via the flag mentioned above, you can save the Local State file located here: AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Local State and have it overwritten on login by DEM since it is excluded in the policy.
      b. I wouldn't recommend this as its not ocurring on fresh installs of Chrome indicating its captured by DEM or was somehow baked into the image. 

 


Please help out! If you find this post helpful and/or the correct answer. Mark it! It helps recgonize contributions to the VMTN community and well me too 🙂
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onfire247
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you for your continued feedback and testing in this topic.

To give a bit of clarification, this issue is occurring in the newly updated test image that I am hoping to push out shortly. In that image, I basically just updated the browsers, the VMware agents, tools, and pushed it to a test pool. Every time I log into the test pool, I get the "What's New" tab. If I close it and close Chrome, it does not come back up when I reopen Chrome. If I log out and back in the problematic tab returns. In the production environment (Chrome 93.0.4577.63), which pulls from the same DEM zips as the test environment, it is not happening. 

I appreciate you taking the time to install Chrome to test this. I suspect that you are not receiving the tab because you are not upgrading. Since it is a new install, I doubt the "What's New" tab would be triggered. I, too, have found the flag you referenced. When I disable that flag, the tab does not reappear. I cannot, however, find a way to trigger that flag via the registry, GPO, or master_preferences.

I too, thought it might be my gold causing the issue. In my gold, my design profile is set to automatically load the last page opened, which is the Chrome update, so the tab does not show up. I created a new user on the gold, however, and tested Chrome. The new user tab does not load up there either. This leads me to believe that it is not baked into the image.

I also thought maybe the UIA-Only writable might be holding onto the Chrome setting. But when I disable the writable, the problematic tab still opens in the test pool.

As a further test, I logged into a completely different profile which had a disabled writable and no DEM zips saved. I opened Chrome and received the problematic tab. I closed the tab and closed Chrome. When I reopen Chrome, the tab does not return. I logged out and verified that it created a Chrome.zip. When I logged back in again the problematic tab reappears on launch.

You mentioned the Local State file. As far as I can tell, the Local State is set to capture by DEM. For example, here is my IncludedFiles section:

[IncludeFiles]
<AppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\profile.pb
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\First Run
<LocalAppData>\Google\Chrome\User Data\Local State

 

When logged into the test pool, I show a 50kb Local State file in %localappdata%. I do not, however, see that file in the Chrome.zip file after I log out. It seems the file is not being captured after all. If that file controls the "What's New" tab, perhaps that is the cause.

Upon further investigation, it appears that I was both including and excluding the Local State file in the Chrome DEM profile. I REM'd out the exclusion and the Local State file appears in the zip. When I launch Chrome, close the tab, and reopen on a new login the "What's New" tab no longer appears. I verified the same behavior with my second account. Thanks for letting me know that file controlled that setting!

So now, the only question that remains is what are the consequences of capturing that file in DEM. I'd hate to introduce a new problem into the production environment! Hopefully you or someone else can answer this question as well. Either way, I appreciate your assistance because without it I'm not sure I could have resolved this issue!

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