Group Policy Editor is a built-in tool present in almost all post-Windows 98 Microsoft operating systems. Group Policy Editor helps administrators make advanced configurations in Windows operating systems in order to customize the OS to best fit their requirements.
When Windows 8 is installed in a small network, where peer-to-peer infrastructure is established, Group Policy Editor can be used to configure the OS on each Windows 8 computer individually.
Group Policy Editor can be initiated on a Windows 8 computer by opening Microsoft Management console (MMC) by typing MMC command in the Run command box, and adding Group Policy Object Editor snap-in in the opened console. Another simpler way of opening Group Policy Editor in Windows 8 is by using GPEDIT.MSC command, which opens Local Group Policy Editor that is local for that computer only. When GPEDIT.MSC command is used to open Group Policy Editor the requirement of opening MMC and manually adding the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in is eliminated.
Since the interface of Windows 8 operating system is entirely different as that from the ones the earlier versions of Windows had, a few additional steps are required to open Group Policy Editor through command line or by opening Run command box.
Moreover, as mentioned above, Group Policy Editor allows administrators to configure the advanced settings of the operating system that may affect the entire functioning of the OS, therefore the Group Policy Editor can be opened and accessed only when administrative privileges are used to log on to the computer.
Group Policy Object Editor is categorized into two sections. Brief description of these sections is as follows:
- Computer Configuration – When administrators make any modifications in the configuration under this section, the changes become applicable for the entire computer, irrespective of the user account that is used to log on to Windows 8.
- User Configuration – When changes are made in this section, the modifications become applicable to the users who log on to the computer. In other words, the configurations may vary for different users as per the group policy settings, and the group policy filtering that administrators configure.
How to Open Group Policy Editor in Windows 8?
In order to open Group Policy Editor in Windows 8, steps given below must be followed using administrator account:
- Log on to Windows 8 computer with the administrator account on which Group Policy Editor snap-in is to be initiated.
- Click Desktop tile from the Start screen to go to the desktop screen.
- Once on the desktop screen, press Windows + R keys simultaneously to initiate the Run command box.
- In the available field on the Run command box, type GPEDIT.MSC command to initiate the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in.