3 Myths About Group Policy Preferences

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Jeremy Moskowitz from GPanswers.com and today I am going to show you some myths and facts about the Group Policy Preferences. Let's just get right into it.

In order to create Group Policy Preferences, you will need a modern machine like a Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 machine. I am going to create a new shortcut. I am doing this for everyone in the whole domain here, so I will click Edit. I like to use shortcuts as my Preference item of choice for demonstration because it generally just works. We are going to pick a URL object www.GPanswers.com and we will pick the location of the Desktop.' What we will do is pick an icon.' We will pick this little world icon here. Now we have set up a new shortcut, so let's talk about some myths and facts.

Now that we have set up a shortcut, let's go to our Windows 7 machine and we will run gpupdate. Myth number one is that Preferences don't work on Windows 7 and also Windows XP, in fact they do. You can see we have got the Icon right there. Let's go over to our Windows XP machine, and let's see the exact same thing. Now, you will note that the Icon is a little bit different. That is because the machine we are creating the Icon from is a little different than the Windows 7 machine.' So we can see that we have the little world icon there for XP and it is a little bit different on Windows 7, but you get the general idea.

Long story short, myth busted number one is that they do not work on XP.' They do work on XP the trick however, you need to have what is called the proper Client Side Extension installed. It is a free download from Microsoft and once it is installed you are ready to go. That is the first myth busted.

The second myth that I want to talk about, is that Preferences are not Policies. Let's understand what that means, Preferences are not Policies. Now, they use the Group Policy Engine. Obviously, we are in the Group Policy Management Editor to do our work here, but they are not actually true Policy.' What does that mean? It means I can take something and throw it right into the Recycle Bin and move on with my life, so they are not true Policy.' What is true, however, is that if you run gpupdate again they will be reinstated, but they are not Policies they are Preferences. Policy means you cannot work around it, Preference means that users can work around your setting. That is myth number two.

Myth number three, however, is what happens if the machine goes offline? Let's go ahead and throw this into the Recycle Bin. I am going to do something you will not be able to see me do off camera, which is I am going to turn off the network connection between my Windows 7 machine and my Domain Controller. I have disconnected the network cables here so now you can see Windows reacts down there that I have no network connectivity. Let me go ahead and run gpupdate again. The myth is that Preferences somehow magically reapply even if you are offline. That is just not possible.' The Group Policy Preferences really have no way of maintaining that state while offline.

Those are three myths.' I hope that helps you understand Group Policy Preferences a little bit more and that is it.' For more information on Group Policy Preferences, please visit me at GPanswers.com. Thank you very much.


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