Group policy preferences and Internet Explorer 11

Group Policy preferences are less strict than Group Policy settings, based on:

Group Policy preferences Group Policy settings
  • Not enforced
  • Has the user interface turned on
  • Can only be refreshed or applied once
  • Enforced
  • Has the user interface turned off
  • Can be refreshed multiple times
Flexibility Lets you create preference items for registry settings, files, and folders.
  • Requires app support
  • Needs you to create Administrative Templates for new policy settings
  • Won't let you create policy settings to manage files and folders
Local Group Policy Not available Available
Awareness Supports apps that aren't Group Policy-aware Requires apps to be Group Policy-aware
  • Overwrites the original settings
  • Removing the preference doesn't restore the original setting
  • Doesn't overwrite the original settings
  • Stored in the Policy branches of the registry
  • Removing the setting restores the original setting
Targeting and filtering
  • Targeting is specific, with a user interface for each type of targeting item
  • Supports targeting at the individual preference item level
  • Filtering is based on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and requires writing WMI queries
  • Supports filtering at the Group Policy Object (GPO) level

For more information about Group Policy preferences, see the Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server.