GPO – Control how often IE checks for new page versions

Not too long ago, we ran into a problem at our office because our HR department was making changes to pages on the HR section of our internal Intranet, but IE was still showing the outdated cached versions of the pages.  Fortunately, the fix for this was not terribly difficult, and just required manipulating a registry key via group policy.

blog3Within the Internet Options settings for Internet Explorer, there are some radio buttons that control the frequency that IE checks for new versions of stored pages.  To get to these, from Internet Explorer go to Tools > Options, then the General tab, and then the Settings button underneath Browsing History.

The settings for these radio buttons are stored in a key in the registry:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\SyncMode5


The value of SyncMode5 will determine which radio button is selected.

  • 3 – Every time I visit the webpage
  • 2 – Every time I start Internet Explorer
  • 4 – Automatically
  • 0 – Never

With this information, you can create a group policy that pushes this setting out to users in an organization.

In the Group Policy Management Console, create a new GPO and give it a name.  Now Edit the policy, and go to User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry. Right-click on Registry and select New > Registry Item.

blog4Click the ellipses (…) button next to the text box for Key Path, and browse to  Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings, and then click Select.

Under Value Name, type SyncMode5 in the text box.  For Value Type, select REG_DWORD.  For value data, enter a number from the list above.  In our case, we went with 3 because we wanted IE to check as frequently as possible.

Click OK when you are done.


Now that the GPO is created, it needs to be applied.  Remember that this is a user GPO and will need to be applied to a user group.  In our case, we just applied it to the whole domain.