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What Is a Starter GPO? How Can I Create One?

This Tutorial addresses:
A Starter GPO can be thought of as a Group Policy Object (GPO) template that may administrators use as a baseline while creating any new GPO. The benefit of having a starter GPO is that the administrators can configure a starter GPO with the baseline and mandatory settings that they want to automatically include in every new Group Policy Object that they create. With the help of the starter GPOs, the administrators can save their decent amount of time which they would have to otherwise spend if they were to make the basic level initial configurations in every GPO that they want to create.

You can have as many starter GPOs as you want, and each starter GPO can have a separate set of settings which can be included in any GPO at the time of its creation. However, you can add only one starter GPO to a Group Policy Object at a time.

Here is how you can create a starter GPO in Windows Server 2012 Active Directory domain controller:

  1. Log on to the Windows Server 2012 Active Directory domain controller with the Domain Admin for Enterprise Admin account.

  2. If not already started, initialize the Server Manager window by clicking its icon present at the bottom left corner of the screen in the taskbar.

  3. On the opened Server Manager window, click the Tools menu from the menu bar at the top right corner.

  4. From the displayed list, go to Group Policy Management.

  5. On the opened Group Policy Management snap-in, from the left pane, expand Forest > Domains > <domain name>. (MYDOMAIN.COM for this demonstration.).

  6. From the expanded list, click to select the Starter GPOs container.

  7. After selecting, right-click the container, and from the displayed context menu, click New.

  8. On the opened New Starter GPO box, specify a name and some brief description for the new starter GPO in the Name and Comment fields respectively.

  9. Finally click OK to create a new starter GPO.

  10. In order to configure the newly created starter GPO to use it as a template for the new GPOs, right-click the newly created starter GPO.

  11. From the displayed context menu, go to Edit.

  12. On the opened Group Policy Starter Object Editor snap-in, configure the group policies as desired and planned.

  13. Once done, close the Group Policy Starter Object Editor window, and restart the computer
    in order to allow the changes to take effect.

  14. After the starter GPO is created, every time you create a new Group Policy Object using the Group Policy Management snap-in, Windows Server 2012 would always allow you to add the created starter GPO in order to inherit all the basic level and mandatory initial configurations to the new GPO.

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