Windows 7 / Getting Started

Setting Policies with the Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor is a lot like using the Registry Editor. It is based on a hierarchical structure of sections that all policies are organized within. All policies are divided into two sections: Computer Policies and User Policies. Computer Policies are settings that apply to components of Windows such as hardware and global feature settings. User Policies are settings that can vary between users on a computer. This is where most of the policies that you will use to customize the look of your interface are located.

Now that you know the basics of the Group Policy Editor, dive in and start using the policy editor:

  1. Click the Start button, enter gpedit.msc in the Search box, and press Enter.
  2. After the Group Policy Editor has loaded, you will see the hierarchical structure and Computer and User policies sections mentioned previously.
  3. Navigate through User Configuration, Administrative Template, and then select Start Menu and Taskbar.
  4. You will now see a list of all policies that you can configure. Right-click a policy that you want to configure and select Edit.
  5. On the policy screen, select the option to turn on the policy or set the policy value, and then press OK.
  6. Exit the policy editor and log off and back on. Some policy changes may require a reboot.

Now that you know how to use the Group Policy Editor, the next section shows you all the policies and briefly describes what they do.

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