Software Restriction Policies
Applies to: Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012
This topic for the IT professional describes Software Restriction Policies (SRP) in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 and Windows 8, and provides links to technical information about SRP beginning with Windows Server 2003.
Software Restriction Policies were deprecated beginning with Windows 10 build 1803 and also applies to Windows Server 2019 and above. You should use Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) or AppLocker to control what software runs.
For procedures and troubleshooting tips, see Administer Software Restriction Policies and Troubleshoot Software Restriction Policies.
Software Restriction Policies description
Software Restriction Policies (SRP) is Group Policy-based feature that identifies software programs running on computers in a domain, and controls the ability of those programs to run. Software restriction policies are part of the Microsoft security and management strategy to assist enterprises in increasing the reliability, integrity, and manageability of their computers.
You can also use software restriction policies to create a highly restricted configuration for computers, in which you allow only specifically identified applications to run. Software restriction policies are integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and Group Policy. You can also create software restriction policies on stand-alone computers. Software restriction policies are trust policies, which are regulations set by an administrator to restrict scripts and other code that is not fully trusted from running.
You can define these policies through the Software Restriction Policies extension of the Local Group Policy Editor or the Local Security Policies snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).
For in-depth information about SRP, see the Software Restriction Policies Technical Overview.
Administrators can use software restriction policies for the following tasks:
Define what is trusted code
Design a flexible Group Policy for regulating scripts, executable files, and ActiveX controls
Software restriction policies are enforced by the operating system and by applications (such as scripting applications) that comply with software restriction policies.
Specifically, administrators can use software restriction policies for the following purposes:
Specify which software (executable files) can run on clients
Prevent users from running specific programs on shared computers
Specify who can add trusted publishers to clients
Set the scope of the software restriction policies (specify whether policies affect all users or a subset of users on clients)
Prevent executable files from running on the local computer, organizational unit (OU), site, or domain. This would be appropriate in cases when you are not using software restriction policies to address potential issues with malicious users.
New and changed functionality
There are no changes in functionality for Software Restriction Policies.
Removed or deprecated functionality
There is no removed or deprecated functionality for Software Restriction Policies.
The Software Restriction Policies extension to the Local Group Policy Editor can be accessed through the MMC.
The following features are required to create and maintain software restriction policies on the local computer:
Local Group Policy Editor
Authenticode and WinVerifyTrust
If your design calls for domain deployment of these policies, in addition to the above list, the following features are required:
Active Directory Domain Services
Server Manager information
Software Restriction Policies is an extension of the Local Group Policy Editor and is not installed through Server Manager, Add Roles and Features.
The following table provides links to relevant resources in understanding and using SRP.
|Product evaluation||Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies|
|Planning||Software Restriction Policies Technical Overview ( Windows Server 2012 )
Software Restriction Policies Technical Reference (Windows Server 2003)
|Deployment||No resources available.|
|Operations||Administer Software Restriction Policies ( Windows Server 2012 )
Software Restriction Policies Product Help (Windows Server 2003)
|Troubleshooting||Troubleshoot Software Restriction Policies ( Windows Server 2012 )
Software Restriction Policies Troubleshooting (Windows Server 2003)
|Security||Threats and Countermeasures for Software Restriction Polices (Windows Server 2008)
Threats and Countermeasures for Software Restriction Polices (Windows Server 2008 R2)
|Tools and settings||Software Restriction Policies Tools and Settings (Windows Server 2003)|
|Community resources||Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies|
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