Group Policy Editor
The Group Policy Editor is a management console, gpedit.msc, that provides convenient configuration of many system properties and for running scripts. How to open and use it is described and an example of runnng a script at shutdown is given.
What gpedit.msc does
Policies that apply to the machine are stored in a sub-folder “Machine” and policies that apply to a user are stored in a sub-folder “User”. In each case the settings are in a file named “Registry.pol”. Thus the settings for the machine are in
%SystemRoot%System32GroupPolicyMachineRegistry.pol and in similar fashion user settings are in UserRegistry.pol. Policies are used to write to a special key of the Registry and override any settings elsewhere in the Registry. Since only the administrator account can access the policy settings, limited account users can be prevented from making unwanted system changes.
Another useful application of the Group Policy Editor (GPE) is to provide for the automatic running of scripts or programs whenever the computer is started up or shut down or when a user logs on or off. This may be the application of most practical use to a typical home PC user.
(Note that the GPE is not present by default in the Home Edition of Windows XP. It may be on the installation disc.)
Using the Group Policy Editor
Like many other management consoles, the GPE is not listed in Start-All Programs. To open it, go to Start-Run and enter “gpedit.msc” (without quotes). Figure 1 shows one view of the console. Note that there are entries for the computer configuration and for the user configuration. Selecting either one then gives the entries shown in the right panel of the figure. Clicking plus signs in the left panel will expand the selections.
See: gpedit.msc how to enable group policy editor
New Policy Settings in Windows 8 and 8.1
There are 250 new group policy settings in the windows 8 and windows 8.1, and it is only included in the pro version of windows 8 and windows 8.1. Get the new policy files from Microsoft TechNet.