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Group Policy Hierarchy

By default, Group Policy is inherited and cumulative, and it affects all computers and users in an Active Directory container.

GPOs are processed in the following order:

  1. The local GPO is applied.
  2. GPOs linked to sites are applied.
  3. GPOs linked to domains are applied.
  4. GPOs linked to organizational units are applied. For nested organizational units, GPOs linked to parent organizational units are applied before GPOs linked to child organizational units are applied.


The order in which GPOs are processed is significant because when policy is applied, it overwrites policy that was applied earlier.


By convention, computer-related policy settings override user-related policy settings. For more information, see Overriding and Blocking Group Policy, Filtering the Scope of a GPO, and Applying Group Policy.