Group Policy Blog

Group Policy Preferences Passwords Bite the Dust!

For those of you following this issue, which I blogged about previously, you’ll know that several areas within Group Policy Preferences allowed for defining of passwords that were stored with the GPO settings storage in SYSVOL. These passwords were stored using an encryption method that was published publically by Microsoft (and had been for several […]

Circumventing IE Proxy Policy with…Charms!

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. […]

GP Preferences for Internet Explorer 11

With IE 11 now generally available for Windows 7 and newer versions, the obvious question is, how do I manage IE 11 configuration using Group Policy? Of course, now that IE Maintenance Policy has been deprecated, your choices for managing IE using GP include either the Admin Template settings (inetres.admx) that come with the version […]

Group Policy Preferences and Environment Variables

One of the cool features within Group Policy Preferences, is the ability to use environment variables instead of static values, within any number of policy areas. For example, you can use the Files GP Preferences area to copy files from one location to another. In that policy, you specify a source and destination for the […]

Expensive Group Policy Preferences Item-Level Targeting

In my previous blog post, I wrote about some new reporting we’ll be providing in version 2.0 of our GPO Exporter product. One of the reports in that new version identifies GPOs that contain “expensive” Group Policy Preferences Item-Level Targeting (ILT). What do I mean by “expensive”? Specifically, this refers to ILTs that can result […]

Microsoft Guidance on IE Maintenance GroupPolicy Removal in Windows 8

As I blogged a few days back, Microsoft has deprecated (or removed) IE Maintenance Policy in Windows 8/Server 2012. And while I think this is a generally good thing, some folks may be wondering how they’re going to configure IE going forward. Well, Microsoft has published some preliminary documentation¬†with guidance on how to get at […]

Leveraging Group Policy Preferences Item-Level Targeting from “Downlevel” Group Policy

Recently I’ve had some conversations with folks that related to their irritation that “legacy” Group Policy settings such as Admin. Templates, Security Settings, Software Installation, etc. could not benefit from the fine-grained “Item-Level-Targeting” (ILT) feature that is available with Group Policy Preferences settings. Most of us Group Policy MVPs have had this on our wish […]

Group Policy: Policy vs. Preferences — what does it all mean?

I recently had a good conversation with a fellow Group Policy MVP about the difference between policies and preferences (i.e. Group Policy Preferences). He asserted that with preferences, the “user can work around the settings (generally.)”. This got me thinking about what the difference really is between a policy and a preference, in the context […]

Find Group Policy (GPO) Setting Conflicts using PowerShell

This is my 2nd blog post¬†around using the PowerShell features in the two products of SDM Software’s GPO Reporting Pak. In this post, I’ll talk about the GPO Exporter product, which, as the name implies, lets you export Group Policy settings. The cool thing about the tool is that you can tell it to export […]

Disabling Print Screen through Group Policy

Recently someone asked if it was possible to disable the print screen functionality on their keyboard through Group Policy. My initial response was that I had never seen a policy setting to do this, and indeed I figured that you would need to do some low level trapping of keyboard commands to make this work. […]