SQL Server PowerShell issue when RemoteSigned is not set in Domain controller for SQL Server

This article helps you resolve the problem that occurs when machine policy of the domain controller is not set to RemoteSigned by GPO for SQL Server.

Original product version:   SQL Server
Original KB number:   2995870


When you open SQL Server PowerShell console of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and machine policy of the domain controller is not set to RemoteSigned by Group Policy Object (GPO), you may receive the following error message:

set-executionpolicy : Windows PowerShell updated your execution policy successfully, but the setting is overridden by a policy defined at a more specific scope. Due to the override, your shell will retain its current effective execution policy of Unrestricted. Type Get-ExecutionPolicy -List to view your execution policy settings.
For more information, see
"Get-Help Set-ExecutionPolicy".
At line:1 char:1
+ set-executionpolicy RemoteSigned -scope process -Force

Additionally, syspolicy_purge_history job fails in the third step if the domain controller is not set to RemoteSigned by GPO, and you may receive the following error message:

Executed as user: AJ\devARsqlagt. A job step received an error at line 1 in a PowerShell script. The corresponding line is 'set-executionpolicy RemoteSigned -scope process -Force'. Correct the script and reschedule the job. The error information returned by PowerShell is: 'Security error. '. Process Exit Code -1. The step failed.


This issue occurs because the machine policy is not set to RemoteSigned by GPO and it is pushed to the member servers. For example, if the execution policy for the domain controller setup is as follows:

Scope -                   ExecutionPolicy
MachinePolicy -           Unrestricted
UserPolicy -              Undefined
Process -                 RemoteSigned
CurrentUser -             Undefined
LocalMachine -            RemoteSigned

MachinePolicy takes precedence over all other policies.

Group Policy is pushed from the domain controller to the member servers that are associated for that Group Policy. This sets the MachinePolicy to Unrestricted mode and SQL Server PowerShell tries to run with RemoteSigned execution policy. Therefore, a conflicting situation occurs and the syspolicy_purge_history job fails. The same job runs successfully in SQL Server regardless of machine policy in domain controller.


As a security measure, SQL Server 2012 starts SQL PowerShell in RemoteSigned policy. This causes the job to fail and the previous issue occurs.

Unrestricted is definitely not recommended from a security perspective because it means No restrictions. That is the reason when you start from SQL 2012, PowerShell scripts run successfully when MachinePolicy is set as RemoteSigned in Domain Controller.

To work around this issue, use one of the following methods:

  • Do not set the Machine policy of domain controller by GPO. If it is undefined, that means the next level policy (for example, UserPolicy, then Process, then CurrentUser, and at last LocalMachine) will take precedence.

  • Create a new Organizational Unit (OU) in Active Directory Users and Computers and link this OU with your Group Policy. Then enable it for RemoteSigned policy. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Go to Active Directory Users and Computers.

    2. Right-click your Domain -> New -> Organizational Unit to create a new Organizational Unit.

    3. Type gpmc.msc in Run, and then right-click Group Policy Object -> New to create a new GPO.

    4. Right-click the newly created GPO -> Edit. It will open a new window.

    5. Go to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Windows components -> Windows PowerShell -> double-click Turn on Script Execution.

    6. Set the Execution Policy to Allow local scripts and remote signed scripts.

    7. Click Apply, and then click OK.

    8. Go to Active Directory Users and Computers, and then click Computers. You find a list of computers for the domain. Right-click the computer(s) that you want move in the newly created organizational unit. In this manner, you can move a single or a group of computers to an organizational unit.

    9. Go to Group Policy Management, right-click newly created Organizational Unit, click Link an Existing GPO, select the newly created GPO, and then click OK.

    10. Update the policy on Domain controller and on the client computer by running this command in PowerShell.

      gpupdate /force
    11. Verify the machine policy for Organizational Unit and client component, it should be RemoteSigned.


About Execution Policies