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How to configure Multiple Local GPOs in Windows Vista?

Daniel Petri


How to configure Multiple Local GPOs in Windows Vista?
Windows Vista has the ability to create multiple local group policies (GPOs). Wow! This means that whenever you want to configure different settings for different users you can do so easily without the need to mess with NTFS permissions (this was one of the methods used by Pre-Vista administrators to bypass the single LGPO limit in Windows 2000/XP/2003).
You can read more about LGPOs on my Understanding Multiple Local GPOs in Windows Vista article.
In order to configure Multiple Local Group Policies perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Start > Run and type MMC. Press Enter.
  2. A new MMC window will open. Go to File > Add Remove Snap-in.


  1. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins window, scroll till you reach Group Policy Object Editor. Click on it and then on the Add button.


  1. In the Welcome window you’ll see that “Local Computer” is selected by default. This is the same as in Windows 2000/XP/2003. However in Windows Vista you can click on the Browse button. Do so.


  1. In the Browse for a GPO window, click on the Users tab. Note that you’ll see all the local user accounts (these are users created on your local computer, NOT users from the AD domain). You can select each one of these users and click on Ok, one user at a time.

Note that you can also select the Administrators group. This will allow you to set an LGPO for any user that is a member of the local Administrators group.
You can also select the Non-Administrators group. This is not really a group but in fact is a method of selecting any user that is not a member of the local Administrators group.

  1. Select any local user or the Administrators or the Non-Administrators group, one at a time. You’ll need to perform step 2-5 again for any local user you want to create an LGPO for.

When done click Ok.

  1. In the MMC console window note that you will now have one Local Computer’username Policy for each one of the users you’ve selected.

You can test your settings by configure an easy-to-notice setting such as adding or removing items to or from the Start menu. Do so for a user that is a part of the the Non-Administrators group, and configure the opposite setting for another user that is a part of that group. Then logon as the first user, and then as the second user, and note the differences.

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