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Group policy preferences and Internet Explorer 11


Update: The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10. For more information, see Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ.

Group Policy preferences are less strict than Group Policy settings, based on:

Type Group Policy preferences Group Policy settings
  • Not enforced
  • Has the user interface turned on
  • Can only be refreshed or applied once
  • Enforced
  • Has the user interface turned off
  • Can be refreshed multiple times
Flexibility Lets you create preference items for registry settings, files, and folders.
  • Requires app support
  • Needs you to create Administrative Templates for new policy settings
  • Won't let you create policy settings to manage files and folders
Local Group Policy Not available Available
Awareness Supports apps that aren't Group Policy-aware Requires apps to be Group Policy-aware
  • Overwrites the original settings
  • Removing the preference doesn't restore the original setting
  • Doesn't overwrite the original settings
  • Stored in the Policy branches of the registry
  • Removing the setting restores the original setting
Targeting and filtering
  • Targeting is specific, with a user interface for each type of targeting item
  • Supports targeting at the individual preference item level
  • Filtering is based on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and requires writing WMI queries
  • Supports filtering at the Group Policy Object (GPO) level

For more information about Group Policy preferences, see the Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server.