Everything you need to get started with Group Policy

My last post on getting started with Active Directory was so popular that I thought I would do one for getting started with Group Policy.  Once again this link list will satisfy everyone from beginner to advanced.  I know there are many other third party resources and books, but I want to surface Microsoft white papers and articles that may not always be obvious.  Enjoy!


Group Policy – Beginners

Group Policy for Beginners


This new white paper covers the basic concepts and procedures. Start here.


Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server


Have you ever wanted a spreadsheet that lists all of the possible policy settings? You’re in luck! This page has four spreadsheets covering policies for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2.


Planning and Deploying Group Policy


Customers sometimes ask me, “What settings should we put in our GPOs?” I cannot tell you what you should put in your policies, but this document helps you figure out what is best for your environment. Typically settings are driven by your organizational objectives and compliance directives.


Troubleshooting Group Policy in Microsoft Windows Server


While this white paper was written for 2000 and 2003 it is still the best place to start for learning how to troubleshoot GPOs.


Your Guide to Group Policy Troubleshooting


This TechNet article provides a great troubleshooting checklist.


Group Policy Preferences Overview


GP Preferences can help you eliminate login scripts, including features like mapping drives and printers. I wish we had these back when I started on Windows 2000.


Information about new Group Policy preferences in Windows Server 2008


This KB contains download links for GP preferences client side extensions. You will need these if you wish to use preferences with an OS prior to Windows 7.


Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)


Before you can work with Group Policies from a Windows 7 GUI you’ll need to download the RSAT and enable the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Note: This is a 230MB download.



Group Policy – Advanced

How to enable user environment debug logging in retail builds of Windows



How to create a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Window Vista



Administrative Templates (ADMX) for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7



SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication



Advanced Group Policy Management 4.0 Documents


From the documentation: “By providing change control, offline editing, and role-based delegation, Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) can help you better manage Group Policy objects (GPOs) in your environment. AGPM is a key component of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).”



Group Policy – PowerShell

Group Policy Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell


Start here to find out what cmdlets are available for Group Policy and how to use them.


Group Policy Team Blog


The GP team blog has some powerful examples of managing policies from PowerShell.



Group Policy – More Information

Each of these pages provide a treasure chest of links for any other GPO details you may need.


Group Policy Search Service - Find those settings in any OS version with this web-based search tool.



Group Policy Product Page



Group Policy Management for IT Pros



Group Policy Documentation Survival Guide




Group Policy Team Blog