Use Windows 10 templates to configure group policy settings in Microsoft Intune

When managing devices in your organization, you want to create groups of settings that apply to different device groups. For example, you have several device groups. For GroupA, you want to assign a specific set of settings. For GroupB, you want to assign a different set of settings. You also want a simple view of the settings you can configure.

You can complete this task using Administrative Templates in Microsoft Intune. The administrative templates include hundreds of settings that control features in Microsoft Edge version 77 and later, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office programs, remote desktop, OneDrive, passwords and PINs, and more. These settings allow group administrators to manage group policies using the cloud.

This feature applies to:

  • Windows 10 and newer

The Windows settings are similar to group policy (GPO) settings in Active Directory (AD). These settings are built in to Windows, and are ADMX-backed settings that use XML. The Office and Microsoft Edge settings are ADMX-ingested, and use the ADMX settings in Office administrative template files and Microsoft Edge administrative template files. And, the Intune templates are 100% cloud-based. They offer a simple and straight-forward way to configure the settings, and find the settings you want.

Administrative Templates are built in to Intune, and don't require any customizations, including using OMA-URI. As part of your mobile device management (MDM) solution, use these template settings as a one-stop shop to manage your Windows 10 devices.

This article lists the steps to create a template for Windows 10 devices, and shows how to filter all the available settings in Intune. When you create the template, it creates a device configuration profile. You can then assign or deploy this profile to Windows 10 devices in your organization.

Before you begin

  • Some of these settings are available starting with Windows 10 version 1703 (RS2/build 15063). Some settings aren't included in all the Windows editions. For the best experience, it's suggested to use Windows 10 Enterprise version 1903 (19H1/build 18362) and newer.

  • The Windows settings use Windows policy CSPs. The CSPs work on different editions of Windows, such as Home, Professional, Enterprise, and so on. To see if a CSP works on a specific edition, go to Windows policy CSPs.

Create the template

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

  2. Select Devices > Configuration profiles > Create profile.

  3. Enter the following properties:

    • Platform: Select Windows 10 and later.
    • Profile: Select Administrative Templates.
  4. Select Create.

  5. In Basics, enter the following properties:

    • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the profile. Name your profiles so you can easily identify them later. For example, a good profile name is Admin template: Windows 10 admin template that configures xyz settings in Microsoft Edge.
    • Description: Enter a description for the profile. This setting is optional, but recommended.
  6. Select Next.

  7. In Configuration settings, configure settings that apply to the device (Computer configuration), and settings that apply to users (User configuration):

    Apply ADMX template settings to users and devices in Microsoft Intune Endpoint Manager

  8. When you select Computer configuration, the setting categories are shown. You can select any category to see the available settings.

    For example, select Computer configuration > Windows components > Internet Explorer to see all the device settings that apply to Internet Explorer:

    See all device settings that apply to Internet Explorer in Microsoft Intune Endpoint Manager

  9. You can also select All settings to see every device setting. Scroll down to use the before and next arrows to see more settings:

    See a sample list of settings and use previous and next buttons

  10. Select any setting. For example, filter on Office, and select Activate Restricted Browsing. A detailed description of the setting is shown. Choose Enabled, Disabled, or leave the setting as Not configured (default). The detailed description also explains what happens when you choose Enabled, Disabled, or Not configured.

    Tip

    The Windows settings in Intune correlate to the on-premises group policy path you see in Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit)

  11. Select OK to save your changes.

    Continue to go through the list of settings, and configure the settings you want in your environment. Here are some examples:

    • Use the VBA Macro Notification Settings setting to handle VBA macros in different Microsoft Office programs, including Word and Excel.
    • Use the Allow file downloads setting to allow or prevent downloads from Internet Explorer.
    • Use Require a password when a computer wakes (plugged in) to prompt users for a password when devices wake from sleep mode.
    • Use the Download unsigned ActiveX controls setting to block users from downloading unsigned ActiveX controls from Internet Explorer.
    • Use the Turn off System Restore setting to allow or prevent users from running a system restore on the device.
    • Use the Allow importing of favorites setting to allow or block users from importing favorites from another browser into Microsoft Edge.
    • And much more...
  12. Select Next.

  13. In Scope tags (optional), assign a tag to filter the profile to specific IT groups, such as US-NC IT Team or JohnGlenn_ITDepartment. For more information about scope tags, see Use RBAC and scope tags for distributed IT.

    Select Next.

  14. In Assignments, select the user or groups that will receive your profile. For more information on assigning profiles, see Assign user and device profiles.

    Select Next.

  15. In Review + create, review your settings. When you select Create, your changes are saved, and the profile is assigned. The policy is also shown in the profiles list.

The next time the device checks for configuration updates, the settings you configured are applied.

Find some settings

There are hundreds of settings available in these templates. To make it easier to find specific settings, use the built-in features:

  • In your template, select the Settings, State, Setting type, or Path columns to sort the list. For example, select the Path column, and use the next arrow to see the settings in the Microsoft Excel path:

  • In your template, use the Search box to find specific settings. You can search by setting, or path. For example, search for copy. All the settings with copy are shown:

    Search for copy to show all the device settings in administrative templates in Intune

    In another example, search for microsoft word. You see the settings you can set for the Microsoft Word program. Search for explorer to see the Internet Explorer settings you can add to your template.

Next steps

The template is created, but may not be doing anything yet. Next, assign the template (also called a profile) and monitor its status.

Update Office 365 using administrative templates.

Tutorial: Use the cloud to configure group policy on Windows 10 devices with ADMX templates and Microsoft Intune