What is Group Policy and How Does it Work? (In Detail)


The Best WordPress plugins!

1. WP Reset

2. WP 301 Redirects

3. WP Force SSL

Group Policy is a policy-based management tool used on Microsoft Windows. Group policies are generally saved as XML files with the extension .adm, and can be edited using notepad or any other text editor. The Group Policy engine monitors changes made to these policy configuration files, as well as registry entries specified by them in order to automatically update the settings of an entire computer or network environment. This allows administrators easy control over their environments without having to manually change individual system configurations at each client location.,

Group Policy is a feature in Windows 10 that allows administrators to configure settings on their computers. This can be done through the Group Policy Management Console or by using scripts and batch files. Read more in detail here: what is group policy windows 10.

What is Group Policy and How Does it Work? (In Detail)

Policy for the Group. Almost every Windows administrator is acquainted with this service. What is Group Policy, though? Thousands of Active Directory (AD) domain-joined computers can use Group Policy to apply configuration settings, install software, execute scripts, and more.

With Specops’ 100% free Password Auditor Pro, you can find, report, and prevent unsafe Active Directory account passwords in your environment. Now is the time to get it!

Many distinct services and procedures make up group policy. Most admins have no idea how things function behind the scenes! We want to alter that in this piece.

Stay tuned if you want to discover how Group Policy works because we’re going to leave no stone unturned!

Objects of Group Policy (GPOs)

Group Policy Objects (GPOs) are the heart of Group Policy. GPOs are individual policies that include a variety of settings for a domain-joined machine to execute.

There are almost 5,000 options in Windows 10/2019 Server that cover all of the key components of Windows. You may also import more for certain apps, such as Office, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and LAPS-E, to name a few. You may also come up with your own ideas.

Consider a GPO to be a manifest containing instructions for operations like as configuring a logon script, updating a user’s desktop, installing software, and hundreds of other things.

GPOs are replicated across domain controllers and are stored in the Active Directory database (DCs).

There are two “types” of settings in GPOs: one for the machine and the other for the user. These “categories” specify how the GPO’s settings will be applied to the PC. User settings, for example, might be used to modify a user’s backdrop. A computer setting is what you’d use to install system-wide applications.

You target a GPO to a group of machines or users inside an OU once you create it. The computer then searches for new GPOs on a regular basis and applies them (more on this later).

Templates for Group Policies

If the Group Policy Object (GPO) is the most significant idea in Group Policy, the Group Policy Template (GPT) is the second most important notion. The GPT and the GPO go hand in hand.

GPOs are stored in Active Directory in SYSOL, which is a file share on DCs used to distribute files. Depending on the kind of settings you designate in the associated GPO, GPTs may include registry settings, security files, programs, scripts and installers, shortcuts, XML files, graphic files, and so on.

Using the GPMC to Manage Group Policy

The Group Policy Management Console is used to manage Group Policy (GPMC). The Remote Server Administration Toolkit includes this console, which is deployed on all domain controllers (RSAT). To make changes to Group Policy, the GPMC connects to the domain controller using the Primary Domain Controller Emulator (PDCe) role.

How to Install and Import the Active Directory Module is a related topic.

Inside of the GPMC is where you can create and assign Objects of Group Policy (GPOs) to Active Directory organizational units (OUs), Active Directory sites, and more.

What Is Group Policy Replication and How Does It Work?

GPOs and GPTs are part of AD, as previously stated. As a result, they’re included in the standard Active Directory replication procedure.

When you create/update a new GPO and target it to an Active Directory OU, a certain procedure begins.

  1. The GPMC connects to the PDCe DC once a GPO is modified through the GPMC.
  2. The GPMC then makes or changes the GPT in SYSVOL and generates or edits the GPO in the Active Directory databases.
  3. After the GPO and GPT have been changed, AD replication takes over and duplicates them to the remainder of the DCs according to the AD replication schedule. If your “local” DC and the PDCE are at the same site, replication may take up to 5 minutes, but it can take much longer if they are on different sites.

Once the GPTs have been produced using the GPMC, DCs duplicate them in SYSVOL using a different replication process called DFS-R. The SYSVOL replication schedule is the same as the AD database replication plan. On your local DC, both components of a GP should arrive at about the same time.

How are GPOs Used?

So the GPO/GPT has been formed by the GPMC and propagated to all DCs in your AD environment. So, what’s next? The policy must now be picked up by the client(s). It’s up to the client at this point to verify the DC for any new or updated policies.

Clients follow the refresh interval set by their Group Policy. This is the time when they monitor their DC for updates on a regular basis. The refresh interval is set to 90 minutes by default, plus a random offset of 0 to 30 minutes.

The default refresh interval for a DC targeted by a policy is simply five minutes.

The Group Policy Client service on the client will check with the DC for any new or updated policies once the refresh interval has expired. If these policies are located, it will download them and begin executing the instructions on the client machine.

New settings may not be applied immediately by the Group Policy Client service. Some options, such as after the next login, redirected directories, after the next startup, and so on, cannot be implemented instantly.

There are GPs who apply even though there have been no modifications since they were previously applied. Security settings, for example, are re-applied at computer startup and every 16 hours if the machine has not been restarted in the interim. This is significant: any modifications to a security configuration made by someone else will be restored when the machine is refreshed (think of opened firewall ports in Windows firewall or people added to/ deleted from Restricted Groups on the local computer).

Even if the GP has not changed, other parameters may be specified to be reapplied. The registry, or, you guessed it, GP, may be used to regulate the behavior of the GP Client for a certain kind of configuration.


If you’ve ever wondered, “What is Group Policy?” I hope this lesson has provided you with an answer. Group Policy has been around for a long time and is still in use by thousands of businesses today. It’s a must-have for anybody who needs to make changes across many Windows computers.

If you need to make a change on one, 10, or 1,000 domain-joined machines, Group Policy is the way to go.

Group Policy is a way to apply settings and configurations for your computer. It’s used by administrators in order to make changes across an entire network or organization. Group Policy can be applied using the “Group Policy Management Editor” tool which is found in the Administrative Templates folder of Windows. Reference: how does group policy work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Group Policy and how does it work?

A: A Group Policy is a set of security settings that can be applied to an entire network. The way it works is that the policy gets delivered from one location and spread throughout the whole network, so all computers within the company will have said policy.

How Group Policy does work how it get implement?

How does Group Policy engine work?

A: When the Group Policy engine is enabled, it creates a special type of GPO (a Group Policy Object) that contains all settings for computers throughout an entire Active Directory domain. This object then propagates out to each computer as part of the regular group policy update process on those machines.

Related Tags

  • what is group policy in active directory
  • what is the purpose of group policy
  • what is group policy insurance
  • what is group policy client
  • what is group policy object

Table of Content