You can, of course, manage certain Chrome settings via Google Workspace Admin, but what if you don’t want to manage things like the homepage, but you just want to set defaults for new deployments, and you still want users to be able to change those settings later?
Google has something called an Initial Preferences file (what they used to call Master Preferences).
Exact details are in Use initial preferences for Chrome browser (including the download link for the sample preferences file), with more details in Configuring Other Preferences on the actual preferences.
First, you’ll download the sample preferences file from Use initial preferences for Chrome browser.
It may download with the name master_preferences.
Go ahead and rename that to be Google Chrome Initial Preferences.
Once it’s renamed, you’ll want to edit it to be how you want it. More details are in Configuring Other Preferences on the actual preferences.
So when it’s landed on the client Mac, the file should appear in the full path of /Library/Google/Google Chrome Initial Preferences.
These initial settings will apply to new accounts or accounts that have never launched Chrome. If you deploy it to a Mac with an account that has launched and set up Chrome already, that account’s Chrome existing settings won’t change.