Use Group Policy settings to manage Endpoint Protection in previous versions of Windows

Applies to:

You may have a number of down-level or legacy Windows devices that are enabled with Endpoint Protection—but are outside of your Configuration Manager hierarchy. For example, devices in a demilitarized zone or devices that are integrated through mergers and acquisitions.

You can manage Endpoint Protection in such devices using Group Policy settings, described as follows:

Note

For information on how to use Group Policy settings to manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016, see Use Group Policy settings to configure and manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

Copy Endpoint Protection policy definitions

On a down-level Windows device that is managed by Endpoint Protection, copy the Endpoint Protection policy definition files.

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Admx.

  2. Compress the following files into a zip file, for example SCEP_admx.zip:

    • EndPointProtection.adml
    • EndPointProtection.admx
  3. Copy the zip file into a temporary folder. For example, C:\temp_SCEP_GPO_admx.

  4. Extract the file.

Note

The registry keys to configure Endpoint Protection policy settings are located in Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Microsoft Antimalware.

Load Endpoint Protection Group Policy settings into a Central Store on a Domain Controller

If you are using a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates, perform the following steps to load and configure Endpoint Protection Group policy settings. This is the recommended method.

  1. Go to the folder where you extracted the Endpoint Protection policy definition files.

  2. Copy the .admx and .adml files into the PolicyDefinitions folder on the domain controller:

    1. Copy EndPointProtection.admx into \\<forest.root>\SYSVOL\<domain>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions.
    2. Copy EndPointProtection.adml into \\<forest.root>\SYSVOL\<domain>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions\en-US.

    For example:

    • Copy EndPointProtection.admx into \DC\SYSVOL\contoso.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions.
    • Copy EndPointProtection.adml into \DC\SYSVOL\contoso.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions\en-US.

    where DC is the name of your Domain Controller and contoso.com is your domain.

  3. Open the Group Policy Management Console and create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) in your domain, for example Endpoint Protection.

  4. Right-click the GPO for Endpoint Protection and click Edit.

  5. In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions > Windows Components > Endpoint Protection.

    The list of Endpoint Protection Group Policies is displayed.

  6. Expand the section that contains the setting you want to configure, double-click the setting to open it, and make configuration changes.

Load Endpoint Protection Group Policy settings into your local device

Instead of using Central Store for loading Endpoint Protection policy definitions, you can store them locally into your device.

  1. Go to the folder where you extracted the Endpoint Protection policy definition files.

  2. Copy the .admx and .adml files into your local PolicyDefinitions folder.

    1. Copy EndPointProtection.admx into %SystemRoot%/PolicyDefinitions.
    2. Copy EndPointProtection.adml into %SystemRoot%/PolicyDefinitions/en-US.

    For example:

    • Copy EndPointProtection.admx into C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.
    • Copy EndPointProtection.adml into C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US.
  3. Open Local Group Policy Editor.

  4. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Endpoint Protection.

    The list of Endpoint Protection Group Policies is displayed.

  5. Expand the section that contains the setting you want to configure, double-click the setting to open it, and make configuration changes.

Next steps