This article is written for Google Workspace for Education Administrators.


The article is a deployment guide of Safe Doc, a chrome extension that helps school administrators manage inappropriate features in Google Workspace for Education that Google Admin Console doesn't provide. You can install Safe Doc on managed Chrome devices (primarily Chromebooks) and desktop Chrome browsers.

Step 1: Prerequisites

  • To change a series of settings in the Google Admin Console, you need to be a Super Admin role.
  • Safe Doc has System Requirements. Please make sure your school's technology environment meets the requirements.
  • You need a license key to enable Safe Doc. If you don't have a license key, please apply for a 30-days trial key.

Step 2: Create a test Organization Unit (OU)

For the first time hands-on, we recommend you to experiment and configure Safe Doc in a test OU. This is to avoid screwing up your production students' Chrome browser settings. Once you're more familiar with Safe Doc setup, you can copy the settings to your production students' OU.

If you're an experienced admin and confident with what you are doing, you can skip this and directly work on your production student OU.

If you didn't know create an OU, please follow Google's documentation Add an organizational unit. In this article, we only focus on the setup of Safe Doc extension. We use a test OU xFanatical Edu Demo > Students > SafeDocTest in the rest of article for demonstration.

Create a test Organization Unit (OU) in Admin Console (Directory > Organizational units)
Create a test Organization Unit (OU) in Google Admin Console for Safe Doc testing

Step 3. Add mock accounts to the OU

Now you add one or more test accounts to the test OU. The following screenshot is in Directory > Users. See more instructions from Google's doc Move users to an organizational unit.

Add some test accounts to the test OU
Add some test accounts to the test OU

Step 4: Customize User & Browser policies for the OU

You need to implement certain security policies to prevent students from easily shutting down or tampering with the Safe Doc Chrome extension, such as Chrome Developer tools.

  1. Open Devices > Chrome > Settings > User & browser settings
  2. Select the OU on the side panel
  3. This is to disable the developer tools. Click Developer Tools.
    Disable Chrome Developer Tools in Google Admin Console
  4. In Configuration, Select Never allow use of built-in developer tools.
    Disable Chrome Developer tools in Google Admin Console (2)
  5. This step is to disable Incognito mode. Explained: Incognito mode disables all extensions, including force-installed applications, including Safe Doc. In the same User & browser settings page, find Incognito mode, and select the Disallow incognito mode option as the configuration.
    Disable incognito mode in Google Admin Console
  6. Whitelist our license server in your Chrome policy settings if you have adopted Google Admin Console's built-in content filter. In the URL blocking section > Blocked URL exceptions, add a new line These 2 Google articles documented the usage of URL blocking, Allow or block access to websites and URL Blacklist filter format.
    URL blocking in Google Admin Console
    Whitelist Safe Doc URL in Google Admin Console
  7. Whitelist our license server ( in your school firewall. This is beyond the scope of this article. Please contact your network administrator if you are not in charge of the network. You can verify if our license server is reachable by clicking in the test user's Chrome browser. If it tells you Not Found, that indicates no blocking.

Step 5: Install Safe Doc on Students' Chrome browsers

You can remotely install a Chrome extension in your Google Admin Console without needing physical access to your students' devices. You can grab an overview of extension deployment in Google Help Article Automatically install apps and extensions. Follow this instruction for Safe Doc deployment specifically.

  1. Go to Devices > Chrome > Apps & extensions > Users & browsers.
  2. Select the OU again on the side panel to install the extension only under this OU.
  3. Hover on the Yellow plus button button and click the Chrome Web Store icon button to find an extension from Chrome Web Store.Find an extension from Chrome Web Store
  4. Now type Safe Doc in the search bar, find xFanatical Safe Doc, and click Select to install.
    Find xFanatical Safe Doc in Chrome Web Store
  5. After adding Safe Doc to the list, change its Installation policy to Force install.
  6. Download the initial configuration file attached in your trial license confirmation email.
    Safe Doc Trial License Policy Configuration Email Attachment
  7. In the Policy for extensions, upload the attachment file. It's a JSON formatted content, including the license key for your school as well as policies to configure Safe Doc blocking behaviors. You could configure it later. For now, we just use initial policy configuration for quick setup.
    Configure xFanatical Safe Doc in Google Admin Console for the first time
  8. Click Save.

Step 6: Validate the installation of Safe Doc

Validate if Safe Doc is force-installed on students' Chrome browsers.

We assume you have the mock user added in the OU and the account has logged in a Chromebook now.

  1. Open Chrome browser in the Chromebook.
  2. In a few seconds, the Safe Doc icon will be displayed in the toolbar, in Safe Doc Logo. It means the extension functions properly.
  3. If the icon is colored in grey Safe Doc Logo Disabled, it's not functioning properly for the following reasons.
    • The Safe Doc chrome extension is installed directly from Chrome Web Store.
    • The Configuration File in Step 4 isn't given.
    • The license key in the configuration file is invalid (expired, misused etc).
    • The student's email domain does not match with the student domain of the license key.
    • More information can be found in Safe Doc Common Issues.
Safe Doc Status in colors
Ensure Safe Doc is installed correctly by checking its icon color.

Now you have Safe Doc working properly. It's time to test and explore Safe Doc features. You can find the list of Safe Doc features in the Support page. The following blocking features shall be sufficient for you to validate if Safe Doc works out-of-the-box.

  1. Open any Google Doc, Sheet, Slides, Forms or Drawing document. The image search and YouTube video search features are no longer accessible to students. Take Google Doc and Slide as the examples.
  2. The Insert > Image > Search the web is not visible any more. Safe Doc also blocks similar menu entries in different places. As you know, the Search the web menu item can trigger the image searching side panel which allows your students to search not-safe-for-school images. But now it's impossible.
    Block Search the web that activates image search with Safe Doc
  3. Safe Doc also removes the Explore features in Google docs editors. The Explore feature allows students to search wobbly filtered web and images. Some images are harmful for students. They distract students from classrooms.
    xFanatical Safe Doc disables the Explore feature in Google Docs editors
  4. Now Open a Google Slide. Find the Youtube video search functionality in Google Slides, which allows your students to search and watch Youtube videos within Google Slides.
  5. Click the Slides menu Insert > Video...
  6. A dialog will popup. The dialog allows students to search, embed and watch Youtube videos within Google Slides. Safe Doc disables the Youtube searching for your students.
    xFanatical Safe Doc blocks Youtube Video Searching in Google Slides

Now verify if ALL of your mock accounts in the OU have Safe Doc installed and activated with the green umbrella icon.

Step 7: Configure Safe Doc

We recommend configuring Safe Doc to block only the features your school needs for performance. The initial policy configuration may block many features that your school regards as "safe". To turn off some policies, please learn more about xFanatical Safe Doc Configuration.

Step 8: Repeat the setup for the production student OU(s)

Once you have tested the features of Safe Doc, repeat the setup for the production student OU(s). Copy the policies text over. You can further set different policies for OUs.

Upgrade License

The trial license key and the annual license key are two different keys.

After you purchase the annual license, you will receive a new annual license key by email. Please follow these steps to activate the new license key.

  1. Sign into your Google Admin Console.
  2. Go to the Devices > Chrome > Apps & extensions > Users & browsers page.
  3. Under your production students' OU, select xFanatical Safe Doc.
  4. In the Policy for extensions section of right panel, replace the existing trial license key with the new annual license key.
    Upgrade safe doc license in policy for extensions
  5. Click Save.
  6. The new license key will usually propagate to students' Chrome devices or browsers in a few minutes after when they are online. But the process can also take up to 24 hours according to Google's documentation How changes propagate to Google services.

Uninstall Safe Doc

Uninstalling Safe Doc from your students' Chrome device or browsers follows a similar pattern.

  1. Sign into your Google Admin Console.
  2. Go to the Devices > Chrome > Apps & extensions > Users & browsers page
  3. Under the production students OU, select xFanatical Safe Doc.
  4. On the right panel, click the trash icon button.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Your students' Chrome browsers will automatically unload the extension remotely.
Uninstall Safe Doc from Google Admin Console
Uninstall Safe Doc from Google Admin Console

Wrap up

Please take patience to configure enterprise-level applications. It's often more complex and error-prone than individual account setup. So if there are confusions in this article, please email us at [email protected].