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Using Loopback Processing to Configure User Settings

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The User Group Policyloopback processing mode policy setting is an advanced option that is intended to keep the configuration of the computer the same regardless of who logs on. This option is appropriate in certain closely managed environments, such as servers, terminal servers, classrooms, public kiosks, and reception areas. Setting the loopback processing mode policy setting applies the same user settings for any user who logs onto the computer, based on the computer.

When you apply Group Policy objects to users, normally the same set of user policy settings applies to those users when they log on to any computer. By enabling the loopback processing policy setting in a GPO, you can configure user policy settings based on the computer that they log on to. Those settings are applied regardless of which user logs on. When you use this option, you must ensure that both the computer and user portions of the GPO are enabled.

You can set the loopback policy in the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in by using the User Group Policy loopback processing mode policy setting under Computer Settings\Administrative settings\System\Group Policy. Two options are available:

Merge mode   In this mode, the list of GPOs for the user is gathered during the logon process. Then, the list of GPOs for the computer is gathered. Next, the list of GPOs for the computer is added to the end of the GPOs for the user. As a result, the computer’s GPOs have higher precedence than the user’s GPOs.

Replace mode   In this mode, the list of GPOs for the user is not gathered. Instead, only the list of GPOs based on the computer object is used. The User Configuration settings from this list are applied to the user.