What Is a GPO?

what is a GPO

Welcome to a series of seven short posts that will lay out all aspects of the GPO aka Group Policy Object – Microsoft’s framework for automated configuration of the Windows operating system.

Read the full article here or skip to the next article using the link at the bottom of this post.

What is a GPO?

A GPO, or Group Policy Object, is an object you set up to configure your clients or servers. The benefit of using a GPO is that you can configure a large number of clients or servers centrally from one or more policies. Also, the GPO settings get re-applied every 60 – 120 minutes ensuring a consistent environment.

A GPO is structured in two main parts: Computer settings and User settings.

Computer settings contain settings that are OS specific, like the size of the event logs, user rights assignment or network settings.

User settings contain settings that are specific to user accounts, like layout of the desktop, start menu and application settings.

There are literally thousands and thousands of settings that can be configured and the GPO framework can easily be expanded to accommodate new settings.

The following picture show you the computer and user settings of a typical GPO in the Group Policy Editor:

GPO Settings

Computer settings are applied during system boot.

User settings are applied during logon.

Most (but not all) settings get re-applied every 60 – 120 minutes.