Change User Settings With The Group Policy Editor

Use the Windows 7 Local Group Policy Editor to modify user settings for all accounts.

The Local Group Policy Editor is a type of Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. The console interface is used to edit Group Policy Objects (GPOs). User policy settings are among the different Windows policy settings stored in GPOs. Computer administrators can use the Local Group Policy Editor to change the user settings of all of the users on the computer. For Windows 7, the Local Group Policy Editor is available only in the Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions.

Instructions

1. Log into the computer using an account with administrator rights.

2. Click the Start menu orb. Type “gpedit.msc” in the “Search” box. Press “Enter” to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

3. Navigate to the GPO (Group Policy Object) associated with the user setting you would like to modify. To navigate to a specific GPO, use the console tree located in the left-side panel of the Local Group Policy Editor window. If an arrow appears next to a folder in the console tree it means that branch of the tree can be expanded. Click on the arrow to expand the branch and view the subfolders located within the selected branch. To view the GPOs contained within a folder, click directly on the folder itself. The GPOs in the selected folder are listed in the right-side panel of the Local Group Policy Editor window.

To modify user settings pertaining to the Start menu and taskbar, such as “Lock the Taskbar” or “Force Classic Start Menu,” navigate to the following folder: User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesStart MenuTaskbar.

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To modify user settings pertaining to the desktop, such as “Hide Internet Explorer Icon on Desktop,” navigate to the following folder: User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesDesktop.

To modify user settings pertaining to the display, such as “Password Protect the Screen Saver” or set “Screen Saver Timeout,” navigate to the following folder: User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesControl PanelDisplay.

4. Double-click the GPO associated with the user setting you want to modify. The GPO Properties box will open. Select your preferred setting. Click “Apply” to deploy the policy (the policy will effect all of the user accounts on the computer). Click “OK” to close the GPO Properties box.

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to modify other user settings.

6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor.