Automatic configuration (.ins) file settings don't take effect in Windows 10 Version 1607 and later

Applies to: Internet Explorer 11

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:

  • You configure Internet Explorer to use an automatic configuration (.ins) file.
  • The .ins file is located on a webserver.
  • You configure the FEATURE_AUTOCONFIG_BRANDING subkey in the registry as described in the following article:

    973529 Automatic configuration does not work in Internet Explorer 8
  • You upgrade your installed Windows version to Windows 10 Version 1607 (or a later version) or to Windows Server 2016 (or a later version).

In this scenario, you find that the settings from the automatic configuration file do not take effect.

Cause


Starting in Windows 10 Version 1607, the evaluation of the proxy configuration script is centralized to the "WinHTTP Auto Proxy Discovery" service.

Because this service is executed in a different scope than Internet Explorer, configuration changes through an automatic configuration (.ins) file are disabled in Windows 10 Version 1607 and later versions.

Resolution


To configure the browser, use an alternative method, such as one of the following:

  • Deployment of policies through Active Directory or Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • Deployment of Group Policy Preferences (GPP) through Active Directory or MDM
  • Deployment of a "Configuration Only" package through the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK)