How To Disable IE ESC in Server 2008 R2
How is that for a cryptic title? IE ESC is Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. If I remember correctly, it is turned on by default in Window Server since 2003. I install Windows Server to test our products at my day job at Interactive Intelligence. I will often need to browse to web sites to get some software that is needed.
When I first started using 2003, I saw this feature and it was a little annoying. There was dialog that popped up and you could add an exclusion. That was slightly annoying, but eventually I turned the feature off. You had to go to add/remove programs, add/remove windows components, and unselect “Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration”. Done.
With Windows Server 2008 R2, there is no option to add an exclusion and there is no option to uninstall the “feature” so you are stuck with it. It is difficult to figure out how to add an exclusion. So by default, IE if extremely limited. I could understand this for your average Server that will be deployed and facing the Internet. This is completely annoying for internal servers. I finally found the “work around” for this!
- Launch “Server Manager”
- Select the “Server Manager” node on the left and scroll on the right to the “Security Information” Section.
- Click on “Configure IE ESC”
- Change the settings for either Administrators or Users.
Realistically, it is nicer that you can turn it off only for administrators. However, it was not the easiest setting to find. I am documenting here so that I don’t have to find it again (for the third time)! I found this on one of my servers. A month later, I wanted to set it but couldn’t remember the magic location. I went to the original server and IE conveniently told me how to re-enable it (and hence were to disable it on the new server).