Thursday, 1 September 2016

Disabling the Google Chrome sign-on screen

When you start Google Chrome it comes up with a page inviting you to "sign in to Chrome" (which I think is the same as signing in to Google).  The users that sit in front of my "teaching" machines have only the vaguest clue about "signing in" to something, and they certainly won't understand the difference between signing in to Google and signing in to some other application (such as the DWP's job-search system, which is often the only thing they use).  If they take any notice of the screen at all it would put them off, since they wouldn't have an account and a password and would think they couldn't continue until they had signed in.

So I'd like to disable the sign-in screen as part of the build, using some preferences file somewhere.  But guess what?  The Chrome sign-in screen isn't controlled by a preferences file.  Assiduous web searching suggests that it was once controlled by a "sync_promo" section in the "Preferences" file, but testing shows that that section isn't there, at least in the 32-bit version that I'm obliged to use.  And in any case you can't pre-populate a user with a Preferences file because it's different for every user and every time that Chrome is opened.

I'd like this blog to contain solutions to problems, but in this case it records the fact that I've given up trying to do this.  Thanks, Google.

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