How to Disable/Enable Internet Options Tabs in Internet Explorer

As an IT guy, I always encounter problems when untrained users tweak their Internet connection settings.  They always make a mistake somewhere and sometimes the solution is to just keep them away from the Internet Options dialog box altogether.

I have worked at many companies that hide the Internet Options tab in Internet Explorer to discourage users from changing the options, which makes sense since network admins are the only ones who are supposed to access these options.

In a controlled environment, companies usually allow only one type of browser like Internet Explorer and those companies usually don’t allow their employees to change the Internet Options like default the homepage and proxy server.

Below is a typical Internet Options window:

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There are several ways to disable the Internet Options tabs in IE and I’ll explain the different methods in this post. The first method uses Group Policy, but will only work if you have the Pro or Ultimate versions of Windows. If you are running Home or Home Premium, then skip down to the registry section.

Disable Internet Options in IE via Group Policy

To disable any tab in the Internet Options window, follow these steps below:

Step 1: Click Start and type GPEDIT.MSC in the search bar and hit enter to launch the Group Policy editor window.

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Step 2: In the Local Group Policy editor window expand User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer then click on Internet Control Panel.

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Step 3: On the right pane of the window, double click on the item you want to disable. For example, to disable the Advanced tab, double click on Disable the Advanced page option.

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Step 4: In the properties window, click on the Enabled option and click OK. The Advanced tab in the Internet Options window will now be disabled and removed.

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Step 5: Follow the previous steps to disable other items in the Internet Options window. To enable items, just select the Not Configured option in the properties window and click OK.

There you have it!  For less savvy computer users who don’t know about GPEDIT, it should discourage them from changing the advanced settings in IE.

Disable IE Options via Registry Editor

The second way to disable tabs in IE options is to use the registry editor. This is a bit more complicated, but is the only option if you can’t access group policy editor.

You can open the registry editor by clicking on Start and typing in regedit. Once there, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft

Note that if you want to disable this option for all users on the PC, navigate to the same key, but under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

If there isn’t already a key called Internet Explorer under Microsoft, you’ll have to create it manually. Just right-click on Microsoft and choose NewKey. At this point, there are two options. If you want to disable the entire Internet Options dialog, you can create another key under Internet Explorer called Restrictions.

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Lastly, you’ll create a new DWORD value in the right-pane inside Restrictions called NoBrowserOptions. Give that a value of 1 and restart Internet Explorer. If you try to go to Internet Options, it will give you an error message.

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If you don’t want to disable the whole dialog, but instead just a few of the tabs, then you should create a new key called Control Panel under Microsoft instead of Restrictions. Inside of that, you’ll create DWORD entries that correspond to the tabs:

AdvancedTab

ConnectionsTab

ContentTab

GeneralTab

PrivacyTab

ProgramsTab

SecurityTab

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As you can see above, I created the Control Panel key under Internet Explorer and then created a DWORD entry in the right-pane called AdvancedTab with a decimal value of 1. This removed just the advanced tab from the IE options window.

Hopefully, these methods will allow you to gain more control over Internet Explorer advanced settings in your environment. If you’re having issues, feel free to comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

Troubleshooting Failed Login Attempts in Windows Active Directory Server

On Event Viewer, we should look for the following information (filter Security log):

Security log, events 4625 and 4771 (format for filtering is: 4625,4771).

We need to filter for these two events since we don’t know if the user failed to authenticate using NTLM (4625) or Kerberos (4771).

References:

4625(F): An account failed to log on

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/auditing/event-4625

4771(F): Kerberos pre-authentication failed

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/auditing/event-4771

With a view containing only events 4625 and 4771 we can then search (Find…) the user we are troubleshooting.

We should be looking for and see the following information on each of events.

4625:

You can refer to the article above for a full description on the Status and Sub-Status codes.

Log Name: Security

Source: Microsoft-Windows-Security-Auditing

Date: 5/21/2019 10:40:19 AM

Event ID: 4625

Task Category: Logon

Level: Information

Keywords: Audit Failure

User: N/A

Computer: DC2.contoso.local

Description:

An account failed to log on.

Subject:

Security ID: NULL SID

Account Name: –

Account Domain: –

Logon ID: 0x0

Logon Type: 3

Account For Which Logon Failed:

Security ID: NULL SID

Account Name: test2016 à This should be showing the account you are troubleshooting.

Account Domain: WIN2K16MEMBER

Failure Information:

Failure Reason: Unknown user name or bad password.

Status: 0xC000006D à These are the fields you should be looking also.

Sub Status : 0xC0000064 à We can have either 0xC0000064 or 0xC000006A

Process Information:

Caller Process ID: 0x0

Caller Process Name: –

Network Information:

Workstation Name: WIN2K16MEMBER à This might not show on this event but if it does this is where the bad password is coming from.

Source Network Address: 192.168.0.31 à This might not show on this event but if it does this is the IP where the bad password is coming from.

Source Port: 49735

Detailed Authentication Information:

Logon Process: NtLmSsp

Authentication Package: NTLM

Transited Services: –

Package Name (NTLM only): –

Key Length: 0

If the above event does not show the Network Information details, you will have to enable the Netlogon debug log to have more tracing and NTLM authentication information.

You can refer to the following article for the full instructions on how to enable and disable Netlogon

debugging:

Enabling debug logging for the Netlogon service

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/109626/enabling-debug-logging-for-the-netlogon-service

Although, enabling and disabling Netlogon debugging is quite easy but should only be enabled for troubleshooting purposes and disabled afterwards:

Enable Netlogon debug:

From an elevated command prompt (as administrator), run the following command:

nltest /dbflag:2080ffff

Disable Netlogon debug:

From an elevated command prompt (as administrator), run the following command:

nltest /dbflag:0x0

The netlogon debug log can then be found under C:\Windows\debug\netlogon.log

On the netlogon debug log we should look for (find…) the user we are troubleshooting and should be able to find information similar to the bellow:

08/15 16:38:22 [LOGON] [608] C ONTOSO: SamLogon: Generic logon of CONTOSO.LOCAL\test2016 from ( WIN2K16MEMBER ) (via JUMPSERVER) Returns 0xC000006A

This entry tells you where the bad password came from.

4771:

You can refer to the article above for a full description on the Failure Codes.

Log Name: Security

Source: Microsoft-Windows-Security-Auditing

Date: 7/26/2019 11:47:11 AM

Event ID: 4771

Task Category: Kerberos Authentication Service

Level: Information

Keywords: Audit Failure

User: N/A

Computer: DC2.contoso.local

Description:

Kerberos pre-authentication failed.

Account Information:

Security ID: CONTOSO\Administrator

Account Name: Administrator à This should be showing the account you are troubleshooting.

Service Information:

Service Name: krbtgt/CONTOSO

Network Information:

Client Address: ::ffff: 192.168.0.4 à This might not show on this event but if it does this is the IP where the bad password is coming from.

Client Port: 49908

Additional Information:

Ticket Options: 0x40810010

Failure Code : 0x18 à This is the Failure Code we should be looking for: The wrong password was provided.

Pre-Authentication Type: 2

Certificate Information:

Certificate Issuer Name:

Certificate Serial Number:

Certificate Thumbprint:

This was the easy part!

The hard part is often to troubleshoot from the client side as we don’t have any specific procedure to understand what is sending the bad passwords.

An application? A Scheduled Task? A script?

Can be either and/or all of them and for that reason we often need to revisit the client workstation to continue searching for the culprit(s).

Sometimes it is a middle device that connects the user to Exchange, SQL or any other resource and the same steps needs to be taken on each device in the middle that will bring us back to the originating source.

More information:
You can also check the bellow articles for more information on troubleshooting information and tips regarding account lockouts:

Active Directory: Bad Passwords and Account Lockout

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/32490.active-directory-bad-passwords-and-account-lockout.aspx

Active Directory: Troubleshooting Frequent Account Lockout

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/23497.active-directory-troubleshooting-frequent-account-lockout.aspx

Troubleshooting account lockout the PSS way

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/instan/2009/09/01/troubleshooting-account-lockout-the-pss-way/

how-to-disable-inactive-user-accounts-using-powershell

Inactive Active Directory (AD) user accounts can pose a security risk to organizations, in situations such as when former employees still have active accounts months after leaving the company because HR failed to inform IT, or accounts might be created for a particular purpose but never deleted after the event. Whatever the reason for the existence of such accounts, Active Directory can quickly get out of control, in turn making your systems harder to audit and less secure.

Active Directory Module for PowerShell

The PowerShell module for Active Directory allows system administrators to query Active Directory and generate reports using the resulting data. The AD module for PowerShell is installed by default on Windows Server 2012 domain controllers, or alternatively you can download the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8.1 and install the module using the command below.

Log in as a local administrator, open a PowerShell prompt, type the code below and press ENTER to install the AD module for PowerShell:

Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-AD-PowerShell

Search Active Directory for Inactive Accounts

The Search-ADAccount cmdlet provides an easy way to query Active Directory for inactive user accounts:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive

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The above command returns all inactive accounts. To narrow down the results to a specific time range, you can add the –TimeSpanparameter to Search-ADAccount. In the example below, a variable defines the value for the –TimeSpan parameter, using the New-Timespan cmdlet to simplify the input:

$timespan = New-Timespan –Days 90

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive –TimeSpan $timespan

Alternatively, you can specify the –DateTime parameter to return accounts that have been inactive since a given date. In the command that follows, accounts not active since May 5th 2014 are returned:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive -DateTime ‘5/20/2014’

To get more user-friendly information about the accounts, pipe the results to the Get-ADUser cmdlet and then choose the columns to display in the output using Select:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive | Get-ADuser -Properties Department,Title | Select Name,Department,Title,DistinguishedName

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The results can also be sorted by a specified field, in this example by the LastLogOnDate attribute, which is derived from the LastLogonTimestamp and converted into a readable format:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive | Get-ADuser -Properties Department,Title | Sort LastLogOnDate | Select Name,Department,Title,DistinguishedName

It’s worth noting that unlike the LastLogOn attribute, LastLogonTimestamp is synchronized between domain controllers, but can be 9 to 14 days out-of-date, so you should bear this in mind when processing your results.

Another way to simplify the output and count the number of inactive users is to pipe the results to the Measure cmdlet:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive –TimeSpan $timespan | Measure

As with any other PowerShell cmdlets, the results can be piped to Out-GridView, or to a comma-delimited file so that the results can be imported into Excel.

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive –TimeSpan $timespan | Out-GridView

Disable Inactive Accounts

Once you’ve got the set of results you’re looking for, all you need to do is pipe them to the Disable-ADAccount cmdlet as shown here to disable the accounts:

Search-ADAccount –UsersOnly –AccountInactive –TimeSpan $timespan | Disable-ADAccount