Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Windows XP: Edit Local Computer Settings (GPEDIT)

Note: This tip only works with Windows XP Professional Edition
Warning: This is an advanced tip, and should only be used by someone who understands what they're modifying. If you're not careful, you can disable your operating system and/or applications by modifying the wrong setting(s). Use this tip at your own risk.

Most changes to your system configuration can be made through the control panel folder. Although there are some advanced changes to your computer settings that are only available via the Group Policy or Windows Registry editor.

In this tip I am going to cover the basics of the Group Policy editor. To access this MMC (Microsoft Management Console), from the Start menu select the Run... command. Then type "GPEDIT.MSC" and press the OK button.

The policies are divided into two groups, Computer Configuration settings and User Configuration settings. The Computer configuration options change the way Windows operates. The User configuration options change the way users can interact with the operating system. Its important to note that when you modify any of these settings the changes can effect all users on your computer.

As I warned you earlier, explore these configuration options with caution. I would suggest making one change at a time then testing it, I would also note somewhere any changes that I made. Most configuration changes should take place right away, but some may require a reboot.

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