Group Policy Blog

Group Policy Tips, Tricks, and News from Darren Mar-Elia

Ready to Share your Feedback on Group Policy?

Love it or hate it, Group Policy has been a fixture of Windows configuration management for over a decade. As someone who has been intimately involved in both its past and its future, I have had the same mixed relationship with both Group Policy and Microsoft. Here at SDM Software, we make our living by helping you get more from Group Policy. But occasionally we peek up from behind our code and…

Anything New in Group Policy for Windows 8.1 Update One?

New Group Policy settings in Windows 8.1 Update 1

Last week, Microsoft shipped to MSDN subscribers, the bits for the first update to Windows 8.1. Regular users of 8.1 will get the update starting today, through Windows Update. A natural question would be, did Microsoft make any outwardly visible improvements or changes to Group Policy in this new release? The answer is, surprisingly (or not surprisingly :-)) little seems to have changed. A…

Migrating from IE Maintenance Home Page Policy Using PowerShell

Exporting IE Maintenance Home Page Settings

There’s no doubt that Microsoft’s dropping support of IE Maintenance Policy for systems running IE 10 and above has been a blessing and a curse. As I’ve observed, the blog postings I’ve done on this site related to this issue continue to have the highest view counts. Clearly people were caught unawares as a result of this change and are scrambling to manage it. One of the challenges of course,…

The New GPOGUY.COM Portal Coming to SDMSoftware.com

Hi Folks

If you’re a fan of my gpoguy.com web site, which I started many years ago as a resource for all things Group Policy, you’ll be interested in this latest news. In order to provide a single spot where you can get great information on Group Policy, free tools for managing Group Policy and also information related to SDM Software, we are consolidating GPOGUY.COM into the SDM Softwar…

Get Your Group Policy Questions Answered by the “GPOGUY”!

Hi folks-

Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you all know that we (SDM Software) are putting on a Group Policy Q&A Free-for-All on March 12th, at 9am US Pacific Time (UTC-8). If you’ve got Group Policy questions–come to the webinar and I’ll take one at a time, for most of the hour. This is your chance to ask me those burning questions you’ve had about Group Policy and I’ll do my best…

Circumventing IE Proxy Policy with…Charms!

Changing Proxy Settings through the Charms Menu

An astute reader of this blog brought an interesting scenario to my attention, and I spent some time confirming it. For those of you running Windows 8 (or 8.1) there’s a neat “feature” that allows your users to circumvent controls you put in place for controlling proxy server settings in Internet Explorer.

Here’s the scenario. I use GP Preferences to configure a proxy address for my Windows…

Group Policy Cleanup and GPO Exporter

Group Policy Cleanup and optimization is top-of-mind for many of our customers. One of the key tools for helping customers achieve optimized GPO environments, SDM Software’s GPO Exporter product, just got an update recently. One of the small improvements we added was support for outputting our powerful Group Policy Analysis reports to PowerShell objects. Exporter comes with a set of 15 canned…

Override the Group Policy ADMX Central Store

Overriding the Central Store

Ever since Microsoft introduced the Central Store — a folder in SYSVOL where you can centrally keep all of your ADMX and ADML template files for Group Policy management — you’ve had to make all or nothing decisions about which ADMX files you could use for GP editing within your domain. If the Central Store existed, all GP editor clients would look for and find ADMX files there, without…

Locating Those Nasty Passwords in Group Policy Preferences Using PowerShell

Retrieving GPOs that implement GP Preferences CPassword

If you haven’t already seen it, it’s now been widely documented that the feature within GP Preferences Group Policy that allows you to store passwords within a GPO for a variety of uses, is essentially not secure. If you haven’t read one of these posts, please do and familiarize yourself with t…

Understanding Group Policy Change Auditing

Group Policy Change Auditing with GPAA

There’s no doubt that the built-in security auditing in Windows is thorough–sometimes too thorough, as anyone who has tried to manage auditing logs in large AD environments knows. But when it comes to auditing Group Policy changes, the native auditing can be lacking. It’s why we built our Group Policy Auditing & Attestation (GPAA) product last year–to make sense out of Group Policy changes…

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