How to prevent Google redirection in Azure Virtual Desktop

By | June 28, 2021

Introduction

Services like Google redirects users based on their location (internet breakout). This is a problem when using Azure Virtual Desktop. This is an issue when the virtual machines are located in another country than the users. A Google page will then meet the users in an unfamiliar language.

In this article we’ll go through the following topics:

The issue with Azure Virtual Desktop and Google

The issue is not within Azure Virtual Desktop. Google redirects users based on where it thinks users are coming from (Internet breakout). Imagine the virtual machine are located in West Europe (Netherlands), then Google will display everything in Dutch.

Google in Dutch
Twitter in Dutch
Google Search in Dutch

How to stop Google from country redirect

Users can prevent the redirection by “hardcode” the language in the URL, e.g., for US https://www.google.com/search?q=&pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr or changing the language in Google Search Settings, https://www.google.com/preferences#languages
This is, however not optimal for end-users to do.

If we take a closer look at the URL, the magic happens at &pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr. You can change us to whatever language you need. Let’s take a look at how to configure Group Policy with this URL.

Stop redirection when accessing google directly

When users go directly to https://google.com, they will be redirected. But by setting the default language, e.g., en-GB, Google will display that language for the users when they access Google directly.

The setting below will set the default language in Microsoft Edge:
“Set application locale”
Value: en-GB

If you try to set the language to enor “en-us,” this will, for some reason, not work.

Group Policy Application Locate setting
Microsoft Edge Language Settings
Google in English

Instead of going to https://google.com, it’s common to use the address bar as a starting point when searching for something. By default, Microsoft Bing is used as the search engine. These three settings must be configured to use Google with the country-specific URL.

“Enable the default search provider.”
Value: Enabled

“Default search provider name”
Value: Google

“Default search provider search URL.”
Value: {google:baseURL}search?q={searchTerms}&pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr{google:RLZ}{google:originalQueryForSuggestion}{google:assistedQueryStats}{google:searchFieldtrialParameter}{google:searchClient}{google:sourceId}ie={inputEncoding}

Group Policy showing Default search provider for Microsoft Edge
Google showing Twitter in English

Stop redirection for search suggestions

Configure the policy below to get suggestions from Google without getting redirected when searching in the address bar.

“Default Search Provider URL for suggestions”
Value: {google:baseURL}complete/search?output=chrome&q={searchTerms}&pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr

Group Policy Default Search provider
Twitter english

Azure Virtual Desktop Microsoft Edge Settings

Below is all the settings listed together to get a better overview.

Group Policy settings
Group Policy settings

Final thoughts

Having Google display your native language in your Azure Virtual Desktop for the users makes the environment much more convenient and useable. I think this workaround is working quite well if you have internet breakout from Azure.

One thought on “How to prevent Google redirection in Azure Virtual Desktop

  1. Pingback: AVD news of the week - Johan Vanneuville

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