Troubleshooting Windows Deployments of NetRef

Troubleshooting steps to ensure a Windows device has been deployed with the current agent/extension:

  1. Under Start -> Settings -> Apps search for the NetRef application. The installed version should be 22.19.



    1. Any version 22.17 and newer will use it’s auto-update feature. While it is advisable to periodically check that the installed version is as current as possible, it is not necessary.

    2. If two or more versions are observed, the older version must be uninstalled. Please note the version uninstalled and provide this information to our support support team, as this shouldn’t be the case.

  2. Open a browser window (Chrome or Edge) and navigate to Make sure that there are 3 green checkmarks.



    The most common Windows issue here is the bottom most check being a RED X indicating the Windows agent is not running. If it’s installed as noted in Step 1 above, but not running, perform a full restart of the device, if it is still not running at that point, open a support ticket so we can arrange a date/time to look at the device and see what is preventing the agent from running.

  3. In the same browser, open the site localhost:5555/debug and look for the reporting email address and version information. This email is the Windows user email address and needs to match an email address of a student record in NetRef. Additionally, the version reported is the running version of the agent. This can differ from the installed version as updates are provided and the agent auto-updates. The current running version is 2022.19.
       "version": 2022.19,
       "domainName": "workgroup",
       "username": "blank",
       "machineName": "laptop-laqjkfve",
       "email": "",

    As a fallback, the domainName and username can be used for tracking the device if needed. This would be the same as the previous versions, if using these, the Username must be configured on a student record and the domainName must match a domainName configured in the NetRef Admin panel -> Settings -> Deployment -> Domain Name field.

  4. Open both Chrome and Edge. Access the Manage Extensions page for each. The latest extension version for both is 2023.2. These extensions should auto-update when a new version is published to the Chrome and Edge stores.



    Unfortunately the updates are done by the respective browsers themselves and we can not control when it updates. The three most common practices to get an extension to update are:

    1. Close all instances of the browser, wait 10 seconds and reopen the browser.
    2. Access the policy page (chrome://policy or edge://policy) and click the Reload Policies button
    3. Perform a complete shutdown (power off) of the device and power it back on.

Deployment recommendations

The app will attempt to side load the Edge and Chrome extensions. If the browsers are managed via a group policy, the side loading of the extension may cause conflicts with other extensions if they are not in the same registry location. Example: Policies placing the extension in HKLM can conflict/override policies placed in HKCU.

  1. If there are no known conflicts, the app installation process via your app manager will be sufficient. All needed registry edits will be applied:
    1. Edge and Chrome extension ids will be added to the Forced Install
    2. The below recommended settings will also be added:
    Policy: Task Manager - Block users from ending processes with the Chrome task manager Policy: Incognito Mode - Disallow Incognito Mode
    Policy: Screenshots - Allow users to take screenshots
    Policy: Developer Tools - Never allow the use of built-in developer tools
    Policy: Sign-in to secondary accounts - Block users from signing into or out of secondary Google Accounts
    Policy: Multiple Sign-In Access - Block multiple sign-in access for users in this organization
  2. If you prefer to completely manage how the above settings are applied, you can add the below registry entries which will prevent the app from updating the registry accordingly:
    Both are string values and should be set to false:

The policies in 1.B (above) are recommended to be added to the Chrome and Edge policies as well via your Group Policy.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.