Disable Apps and Extensions for Institutional Chrome Users

By | January 14, 2016

One thing that students are constantly trying to do are find ways around our web filters. While many of our policies are open and fair, there are some sites blocked that tend to be constant distractions for the staff and/or student body.

So instead, they focus their time on finding ways around our filtering system so that they can then spend more time on said blocked applications. (Just imagine if doing Math was as engaging as trying to bypass a web filter to access MoreFreeGamesThatAllYouDoIsClick1000Times.net was!)

Luckily, Google provides you with an easy way to manage and block undesired extensions for your organization. These restrictions will apply to the targeted users logged into Chrome on any desktop platform (Windows,Mac), but where it really shines are on Chromebooks since they are auto-logged in as that user in Chrome after they login.

How to Block apps and Extensions in Google Admin Console

First, login to your Google Admin Console at https://admin.google.com and select Device Management.

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Under the Device Management section, focus on the left side and select Chrome Management.

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Once in the Chrome Management console, select User Settings

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Now, select the Organizational Unit (OU) you want to apply this policy to effect. Remember that this is a USER setting, so you need to target the OU that your user accounts are in, NOT the OU your Chromebooks are in.

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The right-side of the window will change to show you the available user policies. Scroll down to the Apps and Extensions section.

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Here, you have a drop down menu where you have two options:

  • Allow all apps and extensions except the ones I block
  • Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow

We currently allow all apps and extensions for our deployments as we don’t want to restrict something that is potentially useful. However, you may be close enough to the teachers and students that it wouldn’t create an undue burden to choose the second option and restrict student devices until a teacher requests an addition.

If you choose to Allow all except for those that you block, your next step will be to click on the Manage link next to Allowed Apps and Extensions. You’ll notice this new window says Blocked Apps and Extensions. If you chose to allow, this window would change to Allowed.

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Click on Chrome Web Store and then you can search by name or ID for the app you want to block. This example uses the popular Browsec plugin: Screenshot 2016-01-14 10.03.43

Remember to click Save once you have added your blocks/allows and the interface will update to show your new additions.Screenshot 2016-01-14 10.04.28

Don’t forget to click Save again in the bottom right corner to apply any changes you have made to your targeted users!Screenshot 2016-01-14 10.04.36

 

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