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Extensions to the Group Policy Object Editor

There are three child nodes under the Computer Configuration and User Configuration parent nodes in the Group Policy Object Editor namespace:

  • Software Settings
  • Windows Settings
  • Administrative Templates

The Software Settings node and the Windows Settings node can contain extension snap-ins that extend the Computer Configuration node and the User Configuration node. Most extension snap-ins typically extend both of these nodes, but with different options for each node.

The Administrative Templates node contains registry-based policy settings, and can be extended by using administrative template (.adm) files.

The following list describes the Group Policy Object Editor extensions:

  • Administrative Templates.

    Contains all registry-based policy settings, as well as registry-based policy settings provided by applications. These policies relate to registry settings that control the behavior and appearance of the desktop and components of the operating system. This extension uses .adm files to specify the registry settings that can be modified through the Group Policy Object Editor. For more information, see Extending Registry-based Policy and Administrative Template File Format.

  • Security Settings.

    Sets security configuration options for computers and users within the scope of a GPO. Defines domain, network, and local computer security settings.

  • Software Installation.

    Manages centralized software distribution. Publishes, installs, and assigns software to users and computers. Updates, repairs, and removes software.

  • Scripts.

    Automates tasks when the computer starts, when the operating system shuts down, and when a user logs on and logs off. Compatible with any language supported by the Windows Script Host, including the Microsoft Visual Basic development system, Scripting Edition (VBScript); Microsoft JScript; PERL; and Microsoft MS-DOS-style batch files (.bat and .cmd).

  • Remote Installation Services.

    Controls the manner in which the Remote Operating System Installation feature displays to client computers.

  • Internet Explorer Maintenance.

    Manages and customizes Microsoft Internet Explorer for a computer running on Windows and later operating systems. Sets options for the client browser user interface, connections, URLs, proxy settings, URL security zones, Favorites, and Channels.

  • Folder Redirection.

    Redirects special folders from their default user profile location to an alternate location on the network. Special folders include: My Documents, My Pictures, Application Data, Desktop, and the Start menu.

Registry-based policy settings are stored in Registry.pol files. The Group Policy Object Editor creates two Registry.pol files and stores them in the GPO. One file contains computer policy settings and the other file contains user policy settings. For more information, see Registry Policy File Format.