Technical guides for IT

Looking to use Ecosia at your company, school or university? This technical guide explains how IT administrators can set Ecosia as the default search engine across a network of computers.

We’ve found that the best way for a large organization to switch to Ecosia is to use a Windows group policy. This method does not involve people needing to download the Ecosia extension. Instead IT can use their existing infrastructure to set Ecosia as the default search engine, or a search engine option within a browser.

We can track the impact of large organizations using us and provide a regular tree report via email. If you plan to set Ecosia as the default at your organizations with a Windows group policy, please visit this guide to learn how to track your impact with us.

How to configure Ecosia using a Windows group policy

If you already use GPOs to control browser settings, please skip to Step 3


Step 1

Download the relevant ADMX and ADML files for each browser:


Step 2

Copy the ADMX and ADML files to your central store. 

Local: %systemroot%\policyDefinitions (normally C:\Windows\policyDefinitions)

Domain: %systemroot%\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions (normally C:\Windows\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions)

See here for more information about creating a central store for your browser GPOs.


Step 3

Login to your domain controller and open the Group Policy administration tool. You can start the group policy editor by typing "gpedit.msc" into the Windows command bar. 


Step 4

Navigate to the group policy rule that controls the browser you wish to configure, right click and click on “edit”.

Depending on the target of your policy  LOCAL_MACHINE OR CURRENT_USER , expand either Computer Configuration OR User Configuration .


Step 5

Scroll to the browser you wish to configure: Edge, Chrome, Firefox

How to configure Ecosia using a Windows group policy Edge

Navigate to Administrative Templates → Microsoft Edge → Default search provider

Image showing how to reach the default search provider folder within the group policy editor for Edge

Configure the following settings:

Setting Task
“Enable the default search provider” Set this to "Enabled"
“Default search provider keyword” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:ecosia.org
“Default search provider name” Enter the following value:  Ecosia
“Default search provider search URL” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value: https://www.ecosia.org/search?q={searchTerms}&addon=edgegpo
   

Next, navigate to Start up, Home and New Tab page  → New tab page URL

Configure the following settings:

Setting Task
“New tab page URL” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:https://ecosia.org/newtab/?&addon=edgegpo

Tip

Within Edge’s GPO you have the option to set Ecosia as the default search engine and configure a list of alternative search engines for end users to choose from, using the “ManagedSearchEngines” GPO rule. 

How to configure Ecosia using a Windows group policy Chrome

Navigate to → Administrative Templates → Google Chrome → Default search provider

Image showing how to reach the default search provider folder within the group policy editor for Chrome

Setting Task
“Enable the default search provider” Set this to "Enabled" (must be enabled for other options to take effect)
“Default search provider icon” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:https://cdn-static.ecosia.org/static/icons/favicon.ico
“Default search provider keyword” Set this to Enabled and enter the following value:ecosia.org
“Default search provider name” Set this to Enabled and enter the following value:Ecosia
“Default search provider search url” Set this to Enabled and enter the following value:https://www.ecosia.org/search?q={searchTerms}&addon=chromegpo
“Default search provider new tab page url” Set this to Enabled and enter the following value:https://www.ecosia.org/newtab/?&addon=chromegpo

Disclaimer

The ADMX files provided by Google have limited flexibility. You have the option of switching on/off the default search provider and you can only provide one search engine as the default. It is not possible to offer multiple search engines options using Google’s ADMX file. 

How to configure Ecosia using a Windows group policy Firefox

Navigate to → Administrative Templates → Firefox → Search

Image showing how to reach the default search provider folder within the group policy editor for Firefox

Configure the following settings:

Setting Task
"Default search engine" Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:ecosia.org
“Search Engine One”

Set this option to "Enabled" and enter the following values:

Name:ecosia.org

URL Template:https://www.ecosia.org/search?q={searchTerms}&addon=firefoxgpo

Method: GET

Icon URL:  https://cdn-static.ecosia.org/static/icons/favicon.ico

Description: Ecosia search engine

Image showing the Search Engine One options within the Firefox Group policy editor

Tip

Within Firefox’s GPO you have the option to set Ecosia as the default search engine and configure a list of up to 5 alternative search engines for end users to choose from, using the available GPO rules.  

Step 6

Ensure that you have the GPO rule linked to your domain and that you have specified the user groups/OU’s that this rule applies to.

In order for the GPO rules to take immediate effect, you may need to open a CMD window and type gpupdate/force to apply the settings on the end users devices. Otherwise the new GPO settings will apply after a reboot.


How to configure Ecosia in Google Workspace

To configure Ecosia as the default browser in managed Chrome browsers there are 2 steps that need to be completed.

  1. Enrolling managed browsers
  2. Configuring Ecosia search using policy settings

1. Enroll managed browsers

To complete this step please consult the support documentation from Google: Enroll cloud-managed Chrome browsers and use your preferred deployment method for token enrolment.

Tip: Ensure you enroll browsers to the correct Organisational Unit.

Image showing how to manage browsers within Google Workspace


2.Configuring Ecosia search using policy settings


Login to the Google Workspace Admin Console.

Go to Devices → Managed Browser → Settings → User & browser 

Image showing how to reach the Users & browsers settings within the Admin console


Select the Organizational Unit in which you have enrolled managed chrome browsers. This ensures the settings & policies you apply are applied to the correct group.


Search for the setting: Omnibox search provider.

Image showing the omnibox search provider settings

Configure the following settings in the applicable fields:

Setting Task
“Omnibox search provider name” Enter the following value:Ecosia
“Omnibox search provider keyword” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:ecosia.org
“Omnibox search provider search URL” Set this to "Enabled" and enter the following value:https://www.ecosia.org/search?q={searchTerms}&addon=gsuite
“Omnibox search provider icon URL” https://cdn-static.ecosia.org/static/icons/favicon.ico


Next search for the setting: Startup

Image showing the omnibox search provider settings

Note: Lock the Omnibox search provider settings to the values below must be set in order for the settings to take effect.

Image showing the omnibox search provider setting lock option

Configure the following settings:

Default search provider new tab page URL” Enter the following value:https://www.ecosia.org/newtab/?&addon=gsuite

See here for more information on configuring an Omnibox default search provider. 

Chrome Disclaimer

The Chrome admin console has limited flexibility. You have the option of switching on/off the default search provider and you can only provide one search engine as the default. It is not possible to offer multiple search engines options using Chrome's admin console. 

If you have any questions about the information in this guide or would like to schedule a call, get in touch via email at support@ecosia.org or through the chat bot and selecting “Use Ecosia at your workplace”. We’ll be on hand to help!

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