Understanding the GPUpdate Command [In Depth]


The Best WordPress plugins!

1. WP Reset

2. WP 301 Redirects

3. WP Force SSL

In this blog, we will go into detail about the GPUpdate command in Civilization VI. We’ll discuss how it works and what it does for players,.

The “gpupdate /target:user example” is a command-line tool that allows users to update the system without having to reboot. It can be used for updating apps, settings, and more.

Understanding the GPUpdate Command [In Depth]

Many businesses currently employ Group Policy, which is an Active Directory service. If your company employs Group Policy, you’ve probably heard of the gpupdate command, notably the gpupdate /force command.

With Specops’ 100% free Password Auditor Pro, you can find, report, and prevent unsafe Active Directory account passwords in your environment. Download it right now!

What is a Group Policy, and How Does It Work? (In depth)

Do you understand what gpupdate does? Is the force parameter ever necessary? If that’s the case, when does it make sense?

In this post, you’ll discover what gpupdate is, how it works, and how to get the most out of its features.

What exactly is GPUpdate?

Gpupdate is a command-line application provided by Microsoft and included with all versions of Windows. It’s a tool that manages how group policy objects (GPOs) are applied to Active Directory computers.

When an administrator assigns a GPO to a computer or user, that machine will typically check with a domain controller and apply the GPO’s settings. There is no need for involvement; the procedure is fully automated.

An administrator may need to compel the machine to check for new or updated GPOs outside of the usual automated timetable. gpupdate can very useful in this situation.

In a nutshell, the gpupdate command checks with a domain controller for any new or updated GPOs assigned to a PC and tries to apply them right away.


This article’s requirements are minimal if you want to execute any of the examples offered in this tutorial.

  • An Active Directory domain-joined Windows machine
  • There must be at least one GPO allocated to the PC you’re using.

Gpupdate’s Operation

When you open the Windows command prompt or PowerShell and type gpupdate on a domain-joined machine, a sequence of actions will begin.

Gpupdate at workGpupdate at work

  1. The Group Policy Client service is started by gpupdate. This service is in charge of finding and implementing new Group Policy settings.

2. The Policy of the Group After then, client service contacts the computer’s login DC to see whether any new GPOs or changes to current GPOs are available.

3. If the Group Policy Client service discovers any new GPOs or any that have been modified locally with gpedit.msc, the process goes through all client-side extensions (CSEs), starting with computer settings and moving on to user settings.

The Group Policy Client service reports events under LogMicrosoftWindowsGroupPolicyOperational in the Applications and Services folder.

Gpupdate prioritizes machine settings above user preferences. Gpupdate prioritizes machine settings above user preferences.

How Does Group Policy Work? (In Detail)

4. When the Group Policy Client service is done, it waits for the next refresh period, which is 90 minutes plus a random offset of up to 30 minutes by default.

To take effect, certain group policy settings need the user to log off or restart the machine. If one of these options was included in the policy, gpupdate will prompt you to log out or restart your computer.

Explanation of the /force Switch

You now have a rudimentary understanding of what gpupdate does. So far, everything seems to be working, correct? In most cases, executing gpupdate and letting it to complete its procedure is sufficient. However, there are times when you need to push things forward.

The /force switch is one of the most often used gpupdate settings. This switch has been ingrained in the minds of every IT practitioner as a vital switch to utilize. Contrary to common opinion, you don’t need it unless you’re in a certain situation.

Gpupdate is clever by default; it checks all existing settings with any new settings and only applies the new settings. With the /force switch, you may compel gupdate to reapply all settings. Why would you need to do anything like that?

Occasionally, settings deviate from their intended values. If a user disables a Windows feature governed by an existing policy, for example, using gpupdate /force will require the Group Policy Client service to evaluate the value and restore it to the intended value. Perhaps you wish to reinstate a user’s membership in a restricted group that was previously deleted.

Some settings, such as security settings, are reapplied by the Group Policy Client service on a regular basis (default interval is 16 hours).

When dealing with settings that can only be implemented at login or startup, the /force switch should be avoided. If this occurs, Windows will urge you to log out or restart every time you run gpupdate /force, even if the new settings do not need it.

Investigating Gpupdate’s Parameters

Now that you have a basic grasp of how gupdate works and how to utilize the /force option, you can concentrate on all of the other features it offers.

Obtaining Assistance

The gpupdate command, as predicted, may offer information on each argument and what it does. The /? is useful if you need a fast reminder on how to accomplish a certain activity, despite its lack of depth.

Gpupdate /? provides a list of all the command's switches and options.Gpupdate /? provides a list of all the command’s switches and options.

Computer or User Configuration

Gpupdate instructs the Group Policy Client service to handle both computer and usage settings by default. Use the /target argument if you just need to update one of these sets.

When utilizing the /target parameter, you may use /target:computer or /target:user to target computer or user settings.

Only use the /target option in select situations, such as when you want to target user settings first, then computer settings. Why? There are situations when a policy’s user and machine settings overlap. When this occurs, the user settings take precedence over the machine settings, resulting in unexpected behavior.

Putting Together a Timeout

Gpupdate is usually speedy, however issues with an unresponsive DC or Group Policy client service might cause it to stall. Create a timeout if you’re using gpupdate in a script that needs you to execute additional activities after it finishes.

Using the /wait argument, you may compel gpupdate to restore control to the command window after a certain amount of time and shift policy-processing to the background. The /wait parameter has the following values.

Value Delay Result
0 Returns control to the console right away.
-1 Waits for gpupdate to complete indefinitely.
1+ Waits the specified amount of seconds
600 Default setting

Making an Automatic Logoff Required

If background processing isn’t feasible, certain settings will require the user to log out and back on. If this is the case, gpupdate will prompt you when it’s completed. Use the /logoff switch if you wish to log off immediately after gpupdate is done.

The /logoff Switch isn’t always reliable.

On both Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, the /logoff parameter sometimes fails to operate due to an unknown problem.

A policy has been applied to the client below to allow desktop redirection for the logged-in user. Folder redirection settings may only be changed on login, not during policy refresh in the background.

A typical user gets the notice below to log off when a new setting needs it without using the /logoff option, as anticipated. However, whether or not you use the /logoff option, you will be requested and Windows will not log off.

After gpupdate, you must log off.After gpupdate, you must log off.

In this circumstance, you must additionally use the /force switch to guarantee that you are logged out.

Automatic Restart Forced

The /boot switch, like the /logoff option, restarts a computer automatically if Windows cannot process any computer settings in the background. For computer-targeted software deployments, the /boot switch is widely utilized.

Synchronous Processing by Force

The Group Policy Client service applies policies in a synchronous or asynchronous manner (synchronously). Only during user login and machine startup does Windows process policies in a synchronous manner.

Even if no settings have been modified, the Group Policy Client executes all of its CSEs during synchronous processing. Because certain settings are reliant on others, synchronized processing is required.

The /sync switch may be used in conjunction with either /target:user or /target:computer. When using the command window as an administrator, you can only use the /sync switch. If not, the Access Denied error messages will appear below.

A free read-only Password Auditor scan from Specops will check your Active Directory for 750M+ known leaked credentials.

It is not possible to run gpupdate /sync as a regular user.It is not possible to run gpupdate /sync as a regular user.

A restart is required after running gpupdate /sync as administrator.A restart is required after running gpupdate /sync as administrator.

How to Use PowerShell as an Administrator

Asynchronous processing is a technique for improving domain users’ sign-in experience. Prior to Windows XP, all policy processing was asynchronous, with the drawback that certain adjustments took two logons or restarts to take effect. Since Windows XP, the default mode has been asynchronous.


If you’ve read thus far, you should have a good understanding of what gpupdate performs and how to adjust its behavior using its switches. If you’re looking to use gpupdate on a bigger scale or automate it, check out its PowerShell cousin, Invoke-GPUpdate.

The “gpupdate /force without restart” is a command that can be used to force the update of Google Play Services. This command will not cause any issues with your device, but it is important to note that this may fix the issue for some users.

Related Tags

  • what is gpupdate command
  • gpupdate /sync
  • gpupdate command windows 10
  • how long does gpupdate /force take
  • gpupdate /force not working

Table of Content