Using Administrative Templates

Administrative Template files define the registry-based Group Policy settings that you can configure in the Group Policy Management Editor (GPME). They are XML-based files with multi-language functionality, and Windows® stores them in the %SystemRoot%\PolicyDefinitions folder. There are two types of Administrative Template files: ADMX and ADML. A language-neutral ADMX file determines the number and types of policy settings, as well as their location by category in the GPME. ADML files provide the language-specific information that the language-neutral ADMX files need. The ADMX files reference specific ADML files in order to display a policy setting in the correct language. Adding a new language is achieved by simply adding a new ADML file in the specified language.

An Administrative Template file consists of a hierarchy of policy categories and subcategories that define how the policy settings appear in Group Policy Object Editor. The file also contains the following information:

  • Registry locations that correspond to each setting.

  • Options or restrictions in values that are associated with each setting.

  • A default value for many settings.

  • Text explanations for the purpose of each setting.

  • The versions of Windows and Windows Internet Explorer® that support each setting.

For an overview of the concepts and architecture of the Administrative Templates, see Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step-by-Step Guide.

You can create a central store that provides all administrators who edit domain-based Group Policy Objects (GPOs) access to the same set of Administrative Template files. The central store is an administrator-created folder on SYSVOL that provides a single centralized storage location for all Administrative Template files (ADMX and ADML) for the domain. Once you create the central store, the Group Policy tools use only the ADMX files in the central store and ignore ADMX versions stored locally. The central store is optional; if you do not create it, the Group Policy tools use the local ADMX files. The root folder for the central store must be named PolicyDefinitions (that is, %SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions). For more information about creating a central store, see How to create a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Windows Vista.

Internet Explorer 9 Policy Settings

The following table describes categories of registry-based Internet Explorer 9 policy settings that you can configure in the GPME. The Administrative Template file named Inetres.admx and its language definition file Inetres.adml define these settings.

When you install Internet Explorer 9, it updates the Inetres.admx and Inetres.adml files in PolicyDefinitions. If you edit Internet Explorer 9 policy settings on a computer that does not have Internet Explorer 9 installed, the new policy settings will not be available. To resolve this issue, you can copy the updated Inetres.admx and Inetres.adml files from another computer to the local computer’s PolicyDefinitions folder, or copy the files to the PolicyDefinitions folder on SYSVOL. You can also simply install Internet Explorer 9 locally.

For each policy setting, the GPME displays the versions of Internet Explorer and Windows that support the policy. Not all available settings apply to Internet Explorer 9 on all Windows operating systems. You can find these categories in the following policy paths for your GPOs:

  • User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components

  • Computer Configuration\ Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components

This catalog Contains settings to

Internet Explorer

Enable or disable standard Internet Explorer configurations.

Internet Explorer\Accelerators

Configure Accelerators.

Internet Explorer\Administrator Approved Controls

Enable or disable ActiveX® controls.

Internet Explorer\Application Compatibility

Enable or disable Cut, Copy, or Paste operations from the clipboard if URLACTION_SCRIPT_PASTE is set to Prompt.

Internet Explorer\Browser Menus

Show or hide menus and menu options in Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer\Compatibility View

Enable or disable Compatibility View settings.

Internet Explorer\Delete Browsing History

Enable or disable Delete Browsing History settings.

Internet Explorer\InPrivate Filtering

Configure InPrivate Filtering features.

Internet Explorer\Internet Control Panel

Enable or disable pages in Internet Options, and subcategories to manage settings on the Security and Advanced pages.

Internet Explorer\Internet Settings

Configure Advanced Settings, AutoComplete, Display Settings, and URL Encoding.

In Internet Explorer 9, this category contains true policy settings that you can use in place of the existing Internet settings that are available in IEM in Preference mode.

Internet Explorer\Offline Pages

Configure offline pages and channels.


These settings do not apply to Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer\Privacy

Allow or restrict how privacy features in Internet Explorer are used.

Internet Explorer\Persistence Behavior

Configure file size limits in Internet security zones.

Internet Explorer\Security Features

Contains settings to enable or disable security features for Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, and other applications.

Internet Explorer\Security Features\AJAX

Enable or disable technologies that allow communications between clients and server, or cross-domain communications.

Internet Explorer\Toolbars

Allow or restrict users from editing toolbars in Internet Explorer. Administrators can also set the default toolbar buttons.

RSS Feeds

Manage RSS feeds in Internet Explorer.

For a complete list of Internet Explorer 9 Group Policy settings, see Group Policy Settings Reference – Windows Internet Explorer 9.

To view registry-based Group Policy settings specific to Internet Explorer 9

  1. Open the workbook IE9GPSettings.xls.

  2. Click the drop-down arrow next to Requirements, and then click At least Internet Explorer 9.

Editing Internet Explorer 9 Policy Settings

The steps necessary to edit Internet Explorer 9 Group Policy settings depend on the tools you are using: the GPMC alone, the GPMC with AGPM, or local Group Policy. Internet Explorer Maintenance settings are under User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Internet Explorer Maintenance in the GPME. The following resources provide guidance for editing GPOs: