Group Policy

IT administrators have been working with and around Active Directory since the introduction of the technology in Windows 2000 Server. Windows 2000 Server was released on February 17, 2000 but many administrators began working with Active Directory in late 1999 when it was released to manufacturing (RTM) on December 15, 1999.

Let’s speak about Group Policy and Group Policy Objects in this part of the tutorial.

What is Group Policy and GPO?

Group Policy provides a method of centralizing configuration settings and management of operating systems, computer settings, and user settings in an environment.

While these settings are managed by using Group Policy Objects (GPOs), GPOs cannot be applied directly to user or computer objects. A GPO must be applied to a domain, site, or organizational unit.

By default, all objects within the container that the GPO has been applied to will receive the GPO settings. Child objects and containers will also receive the configured settings through inheritance, unless inheritance blocking is configured. Blocking inheritance complicates configurations and can cause unexpected results.

Additionally, GPOs may be set to be enforced which ensures that GPOs will always be applied, regardless of inheritance settings. The enforced setting should also be used with caution.

Group Policy settings

Group Policy processes policy settings in the following order:

  1. Local Group Policy
  2. Site-linked policies
  3. Domain-linked policies
  4. OU-linked policies

Any policy that is configured by two or more GPOs will be overwritten or modified by the last GPO that is processed.

For example, if a site policy is applied that modifies system settings, and an OU policy modifies the same system settings, then the OU policy will take precedent because it is processed last.

Additionally, if a policy is enforced, the settings that are defined by that specific policy cannot be overwritten by a subsequent GPO, even if the other GPO is processed last

More information about Active Directory basisc you will find in our AD tutorial for begginners.