Tip: Understand and Manually Trigger Group Policy Refresh

Follow Our Daily Tips

TechNet Tips library

Group Policy is processed every 90 minutes, by default, with a randomized delay of up to 30 minutes. This means a maximum refresh interval of up to 120 minutes.

After you have edited security settings policies, policy settings are refreshed on the computers in the OU to which the GPO is linked:

  • When a computer restarts
  • Every 90 minutes on a workstation or server and every 5 minutes on a domain controller
  • By default, security settings delivered by Group Policy are also applied every 16 hours (960 minutes), even if a GPO has not changed.

Changes made to the GPO must first replicate to the appropriate domain controller. Therefore, changes to Group Policy settings might not be immediately available on users’ desktops. In some scenarios, such as application of security policy settings, it might be necessary to apply policy settings immediately.

Administrators can trigger a policy refresh manually from a local computer without waiting for the automatic background refresh. To do this, administrators can type gpupdate at the command line to refresh the user or computer policy settings. You cannot use GPMC to trigger a policy refresh. The gpupdate command triggers a background policy refresh on the local computer from which the command is run. Note, however, that application of Group Policy cannot be pushed to clients on demand from the server.

Tip adapted from the Office 2010 Resource Kit.