Appendix B: Learning About Group Policy and Updating Administrative Templates

(Note: This topic describes not just Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, but also Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3.)

On This Page

Resources for Learning about Group Policy
Installing Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)
Updating Administrative Templates

Resources for Learning about Group Policy

To learn about using Group Policy and the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), see the following resources.

To learn about Group Policy settings that can be used with Windows XP with SP2, see the following resources.

Installing Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)

Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) unifies the management of all aspects of Group Policy. Using GPMC, you can manage Group Policy objects (GPOs), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filters, and permissions on your network.

GPMC is available for download from the Microsoft Web site. For instructions for downloading and installing GPMC, see the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site at:

To run GPMC, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Group Policy Management.

Updating Administrative Templates

You can use Group Policy to control registry keys using the settings supplied with Administrative templates. An updated set of Administrative templates is included with each new release of Windows and includes policy settings for earlier versions of Windows and earlier service packs as well as new policy settings. Use the following procedure to update the Administrative templates in your domain with the templates provided with Windows XP with SP2.

To Update Administrative Templates to the Version Provided in Windows XP with SP2

  1. In the domain where you want to configure Group Policy, on a computer running Windows XP with SP2, ensure that you have installed GPMC. On that computer, log on as a member of the Domain Admins group, or with an account from which you can manage GPOs in the domain.

    For information about installing GPMC, see “Installing Group Policy Management Console (GPMC),” earlier in this section.

  2. Click Administrative Templates under either User Configuration or Computer Configuration (it does not matter which one). Be sure that you click it so that it is selected (highlighted). When you select Administrative Templates, the Administrative templates are updated throughout the domain.

    For more information about managing .adm files, see article 816662, "Recommendations for Managing Group Policy Administrative Template (.adm) Files" in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at:

    Caution You should treat the .adm files that are provided with the operating system as read-only. These files will be updated from time to time in service packs and in future releases. To use an existing .adm file as a template for a custom .adm file, first copy the original .adm file into a new filename and then edit the new file.