Recently I worked on an IE home page GPO issue:
My customer configured a GPO for IE home page www.bing.com in IE maintenance policy. This policy does not take place for the domain user until the domain user runs gpupdate /force manually on the client machine or applies 90 min delay. This issue seems to be happening only on Win 7 IE8/IE9 machines.
I checked instal.ins under C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\SIGNUP
IE4 Welcome Msg=1
As we can see, the home page is set to about:blank.
There was already a homepage about:blank setup from the pre-configured IE branding on the machine. It was not letting to get correct homepage ‘http://www.bing.com/’ applied which was applied through a GPO.
There are 2 options to resolve this issue:
a. Remove the Home page=about blank entry in the install.ins file
b. Set below GPO to prevent branding of Internet programs, such as customization of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express logos and title bars, by another party. If we enable this policy, it prevents customization of the browser by another party, such as an Internet service provider or Internet content provider.
This GPO setting will help us in disabling the previous homepage setting and allow to write new homepage setting on the user profile:
Enable “Disable external branding of Internet Explorer” under User Configuration->Policies->Administrative templates-> Windows Components->Internet Explorer
Enabled this GPO and resolved our issue.
Enjoy & Happy New Year