policyDefinitions Element

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The policyDefinitions element is the document element for an .admx file that defines a set of registry-policy settings. The policyDefinitions element also declares a default namespace for all of the elements in the .admx file.


<policyDefinitions xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" revision="<MajorVerison.MinorVersion>" schemaVersion="<MajorVerison.MinorVersion>" xmlns=" http://schemas.microsoft.com/GroupPolicy/2006/07/PolicyDefinitions" >
  <policyNamespaces> … </policyNamespaces>
  <supersededAdm> … </supersededAdm>
  <resources> … </resources>
  <supportedOn> … </supportedOn>
  <categories> … </categories>
  <policies> … </policies>


Attributes Required Description

xmlns Attribute


xmlns:xsd ="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"

Designation for elements and data types used in the schema that comes from the "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" namespace. This attribute is typed as shown.

xmlns Attribute



Designation for the XML Schema Instance namespace available is from the "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" namespace. This attribute is typed as shown.

revision Attribute



Version of the .admx file for tracking purposes.

schemaVersion Attribute



Schema version used by the Group Policy tools. For Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 schemaVersion must be set as follows; schemaVersion="1.0"

xmlns Attribute


The Group Policy schema namespace.


The Group Policy tools will successfully consume the .admx file that does not include the xmlns:xsd, xmlns:xsi, and xmlns attributes. The .admx file may not validate as a fully-formed XML file if the xmlns:xsd, xmlns:xsi, and xmlns attributes are not included in the .admx file.

Child elements

Element Required Description

policyNamespaces Element


Contains mappings of .admx files to unique namespaces.

supersededAdm Element


Reference to the file name for an .adm file. The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) or the Local Group Policy Editor will not read any .adm file designated as superseded.

resources Element (.admx)


Contains the required minimum revision of the .adml file.

supportedOn Element


Mapping of products and definitions.

categories Element


Contains a list of categories under which Group Policy settings will be displayed in the Local Group Policy Editor and the GPMC.

policies Element


Contains a list of policy setting definitions.


For simplicity of documentation, nested elements located one level down, known as child elements, will only be described for a given element.


Because the policyDefinitions element is the document element, it contains all the other elements in the document representing the .admx file. The XML declaration is not part of the document element.


This XML fragment is an example of a single policy setting to configure a registry-based value with numeric values for the enabled and disabled policy states. If the policy setting state is changed from a defined state to the not configured policy state, the existing registry value will be deleted when Group Policy is processed.

<policyDefinitions xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" revision="0.9" schemaVersion="1.0" xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/GroupPolicy/PolicyDefinitions">
    <target prefix="example1_singlepolicysetting" namespace="Microsoft.Policies.Example1_singlepolicysetting" />
  <supersededAdm fileName="example1_singlepolicysetting.adm" />
  <resources minRequiredRevision="0.9" />
      <definition name="SUPPORTED_ProductOnly" 
    <category name="SAMPLE" displayName="$(string.SAMPLE)"
                        explainText="$(string.SAMPLEHELP)" />
    <policy name="Sample_NoParamPolicy" class="Both" displayName="$(string.Sample_NoParamPolicy)" explainText="$(string.Sample_NoParamPolicy_Help)" key="Software\Policies\Examples" valueName="Example1NoParam">
      <parentCategory ref="SAMPLE" />
      <supportedOn ref="SUPPORTED_ProductOnly" />
        <decimal value="1" />
        <decimal value="0" />

Additional references

XML declaration