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If you think that managing your user accounts and settings is actually rocket science, you are very much mistaken. Thus, the Group Policy feature is something that can make dealing with the subtleties of your operating system much easier and more effective. With this in mind, keep on reading to know how to edit the group policy and how to use group policy management on Windows 10, 8 and 8.1.
What is Group Policy on Windows 10, 8, 8.1?
Group Policy is a handy feature that lets you control your accounts in Windows and customize the advanced settings that you cannot access via the Settings app. You can work with Group Policy through a convenient interface called Local Group Policy Editor. To use it, you need to have administrative privileges. As such, make sure you are logged in as an administrator on your PC and get ready to learn some helpful tweaks.
How to access the Local Group Policy Editor on Windows 10, 8, 8.1?
Below you can find the ways to invoke the Local Group Policy Editor. You are free to choose any option that works on your edition of Windows and that seems most convenient to you:
Use Command Prompt
Windows 10, 8, 8.1 users can use Command Prompt to access the Local Group Policy Editor:
- Press the Windows logo key + X keyboard shortcut.
- Select Command Prompt (admin) from the quick access menu.
- Type gpedit.msc and press the Enter key.
Another way to enter the Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10, 8, 8.1 is by using the Run app:
- Click the Windows logo key and the R key simultaneously.
- Once Run is up, type gpedit.msc into it and click OK.
Search for the Local Group Policy Editor
You can use Search to get to your group policy settings. Here are the instructions needed:
- Launch your Start menu.
- Locate the Search area. You can also invoke it by using the Windows logo key + S shortcut.
- Type ‘group policy’ without quotes into the Search bar.
- Select Edit group policy from the list of results.
Access the Local Group Policy Editor from the Settings app
Here is another way to launch the tool in question:
- Press the Windows logo key + I shortcut on your keyboard.
- The Settings app will open. Locate its search bar.
- Type ‘group policy’ (no quotes).
- Select the Edit group policy link.
Create a special shortcut
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You can also access the Local Group Policy Editor by using a special shortcut. This is how to create it:
- Open your Windows/File Explorer.
- Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
- Locate the gpedit.msc file and right-click on it.
- Click Send To and select Desktop (create shortcut).
Double-click this shortcut, and you will be taken to the Local Group Policy Editor.
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Please keep in mind that some of the options above may not work on Windows 10 Home.
Those running Windows 10, 8.1 Enterprise and Windows 10, 8.1 Pro might find the secpol option pretty useful:
- Open your Start menu and locate Search.
- Paste secpol.msc into the Search bar.
- Locate the secpol icon and left-click on it.
- From Security Settings, move to Local Policies.
- Double-click Local Policies.
From this menu, you can edit your security options, user rights, and audit policy. Double-click on the option you wish to modify and perform the necessary changes.
How to use group policy management in Windows
To do that, you need to understand what Group Policy Management Console is and why you need it. Group Policy Management Console is a tool that is designed to help you work with group policy objects (GPOs) and thus manage your system and user permissions. You can download it from the Microsoft download center and install it on your computer. For this tool to work, you need Active Directory (this one is usually installed with Group Policy Management Console) and the Active Directory Domain Services (it is running on a server called a domain controller) as well.
To configure a group policy object, you should create and edit it in Group Policy Management Console. This way you can set up policies that apply to all users in a domain and edit them. The general line of action looks like this:
- Run Group Policy Management Console.
- Navigate to the Domains container and expand it.
- Select your domain name.
- Right-click on your domain name.
- Select Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here.
- Then you should give your GPO a name.
- Once it becomes visible in your domain, right-click it and select Edit.
- Group Policy Management Editor will open.
- Locate and right-click your group policy object. Select Properties.
That said, remember that using the Group Policy feature is not the only way to configure advanced settings on your computer. Thus, you can modify your Windows Registry entries and keys to make your system work the way you would like it to. Nonetheless, your registry is not a component that can be edited carelessly. In fact, it is extremely fragile – it can literally kill your system if you make even a tiny mistake. That is why we recommend Auslogics Registry Cleaner, which is a 100 % free tool designed to perform safe and effective registry tweaks.
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