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Proxy Auto Detect (WPAD) Issues With IE & Windows 7



Windows 7 added a feature when using Proxy Auto Detect (WPAD) with Internet Explorer, where if the computer fails to detect the proxy settings once, it will not try again.  This is a problem if you then later configure your network to support Proxy Auto Detect.  This article explains how to disable this new feature, and allow WPAD to work correctly.

Applies To

Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Internet Explorer

More Information

To prevent Windows from tracking which network support WPAD, you need to make a simple registry change:

  1. Click the Start button, and in the search field, type in "regedit", then select "regedit.exe" from the list of results
  2. Navigate through the tree to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Wpad"
  3. Once you have the "Wpad" folder selected, right click in the right pane, and click on "New -> DWORD (32-Bit Value)"
  4. Name this new value "WpadOverride"
  5. Double click the new "WpadOverride" value to edit it
  6. In the "Value data" field, replace the "0" with a "1", then click "OK"
  7. Reboot the computer

Deploying / Automating

If this is a problem on multiple computers, you may want to have a method of deploying this to large groups at once.  There are two ways of doing this:

Method 1: Registry File

The attached .reg file (see link below) is a simple registry script that will create the registry key for the currently logged in user.  You can either run this script by hand (double click on it), or have it run as part of your logon script.

Method 2: Group Policy

The attached .adm file is a template that can be loaded into your Group Policy Editor, and can be used to deploy the setting via a Group Policy.  To load the template, first download it and save it somewhere on your domain controller, then perform the following steps (on the domain controller).

  1. Run the Group Policy Object Editor.  There are many ways to do this.  You can do this however you are most comfortable, or you can follow these directions:
    1. "Start" -> "Run" -> type "mmc" and click "OK"
    2. "File" -> "Add/Remove Snap-in"
    3. "Add..."
    4. Find "Group Policy Object Editor" in the list and click "Add"
    5. Click the "Browse" button
    6. Navigate through your Active Directory and find the policy you want to edit, then click "OK"
    7. Click "Finish"
    8. Click "Close"
    9. Click "OK"
  2. Expand the policy tree to "User Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates".
  3. Right click on "Administrative Templates" and click "Add/Remove Templates"
  4. Click "Add..."
  5. Find the .adm file you just downloaded, then click "Open"
  6. Click "Close" to close the "Add/Remove Templates" window
  7. Click on the "View" menu, then "Filtering"
  8. Uncheck the box "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed"
  9. Click "OK"
  10. Now expand the "Administrative Templates" folder, and select "Internet Explorer WPAD Decision Caching"
  11. In the right pane, double click on "IE WPAD Decision Caching Override"
  12. Select "Enabled" in the top of the window, then select "Always check for a WPAD file each time..."
  13. Click "OK"
  14. Close the policy editor
  15. Once the group policies on the workstations refresh, the setting will be deployed.
Last Modified: 13 Years Ago
Last Modified By: bmccann
Rated 4 stars based on 5 votes.
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