Windows 10 Group Policy Settings Spreadsheet

img0_768x1366Microsoft has now release to the world Windows 10, and if you are running one of the 14 million devices  that now have Windows 10 installed you might be wondering what new features there are for businesses. So, to help answer that question Microsoft has released the latest Windows 10 Group Policy settings spreadsheet that list all the Group Policy settings. To view just the Windows 10 setting int the spreadsheet simply filter on the “Supported On” column and you can list all the new policy settings. Also note, that there are also a number of new “Microsoft Edge 1.0″ settings that you can filter on.

These spreadsheets list the policy settings for computer and user configurations that are included in the Administrative template files delivered with the Windows operating systems specified. You can configure these policy settings when you edit Group Policy Objects.

To take advantage of these new Group Policy settings, all you need to do is copy the files from the local folder C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions from any Windows 10 copy and put them in your domain “PolicyDefitions” Central Store.

Download it now from

Edge Group Policy Settings

EdgeLogoWith the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has now also released their new web browser call Edge. This browser will be installed side Internet Explore by default on most installs of Windows 10. This is essentially a new browser that has been mostly re-built from the ground up for improved security, performance and HTML compatibility. But unlike its distant cousin browser ( IE ) that had over 1600 native Group policy settings. The new Edge browser currently only has 10 (ten) unique Group Policy settings.

These Edge Group Policy Settings can be found under (User or Computer)\Administrative Template\Windows Components\Microsoft Edge\ are:

  • Allows you to run scripts, like Javascript
  • Allows you to let people use autofill on websites
  • Allows you to let people send Do Not Track headers
  • Allows you to configured password manager
  • Allows you to run pop-ups
  • Stops address bar from showing search suggestions
  • Allows you to configure SmartScreen
  • Configure how Microsoft Edge treats cookies
  • Allows you to configured the Enterprise Site list
  • Sends all intranet traffic over to Internet Explorer

While most of the settings sem straight forward I would call out the last policy settings called “Sends all intranet traffic over to Internet Explore”. This policy setting is very similar to the “Chrome Legacy Browser Support” which redirect users web traffic to Internet Explorer if the web site needs is located on the Intranet. This will allow your users to use Edge for any external web sites but then drop back to the more Intranet friendly Internet Explorer when they visit any internal web sites.

Now I can already hear you say that only ten group policy settings does not seem like many. However, the key things to remember is that this is a new browser and Microsoft has said at the recent Ignite conference that more group settings will be coming. This also combine with the fact that the new Edge browser has far fewer settings and that it treats all web sites as “Internet” zones there is simply far fewer settings that need to be configured.

Another thing to also remember is that InTune will also soon be updated to configured similar policy settings for the Edge browser. This essentially allows you to also manage the Edge Browser on all your non-domain joined computers as well.

Either way new Edge browser can be managed via Group Policy or InTune, so if you are thinking about deploying Windows 10 in your organisaion you certainly have options to manage Microsoft’s newest browser.

How to apply WMI Filter to Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016

Windows 10 Technical Preview Start MenuAs you are probably already aware, Microsoft is soon going to be releasing the next version of Windows called… drum roll… Windows 10. Some of you might have already download the production by downloading the technical preview of Windows 10 as part of the Insider Preview. However, what you might not know is that the version number of Windows 10 is also taking a big leap forward from 6.3 to 10.0 (as you can see below).

Windows 8.1 Version Number


Windows 10 Version Number (Technical Preview 2)



Whenever Windows changes version number there is always applications compatibility issues. These have largely been mitigated for Windows 10 applications HOWEVER… WMI filter queries are affected by this change.

The example below might be familiar as it is a common way to apply a GPO to all Versions of WIndows after 7. It would also automatically work for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 but it will fail for Windows 10.

select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where Version >= “6.1”

The problem stems from the comparison that WMI does as it treats the version as a string and not a number. This means that Version “10” is actually lower than “6.0” as 1 is lower that 6.

As you can see below in my example the same WMI filter as above is evaluating as False on my Windows 10 computer (called Win10).



So… To have a WMI filter that matches Windows 7 or later (including Windows 10) then you need to use the following WMI filter:

select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where Version like “10.%” or Version >=”6.1″

This will evaluate true for Windows 10 AND any version of Windows greater that Windows 7 (6.1) as the report below shows.



In this example I have added used the like operator with the % wildcard so it will match any preview build of Windows 10. This will not work if Microsoft release a version of the OS with 11 version number, but as Microsoft have now said that Windows is going to be a service its a safe bet that this will work for a long while to come.

Of course the final version of Windows 10 has not been released yet so this might still change. However if you are testing Windows 10 in your environment now and you are wondering why the WMI filters GPO’s are applying this is your you can get going today.

Note: The same is also true for Windows Server 2016 as it has the same OS version number.

Thanks to Michale Niehaus for his help with this article.


How to stop local administrators from bypassing Group Policy

image_thumb.pngBefore I begin this article might be, for some of you, this will be well know information and it might all seem rather logical. But I continue to see questions being asked on forums as how as a Group Policy administrator can I prevent my users with local admin making a specific change or installing software/drivers on their own computer.

The short answer is you CANT!!!!

You need to think of local administrator are “gods” of their own computers and as such they have the power to do anything on the computer, including overriding any group policies. So, if you knowingly grant local admins for a user to their computer simply assume that you have lost all control of that computer. So always be REALLY sure that the person you are granting local admin access to REALLY has to have that level of access.

Of course user might not always be tech savvy enough to work around GPO restrictions. But if they are not, I would really question why you are granting local admin access to that computer in the first place. However, if you at least start with that assumption that you have lost control of the computers that you have delegated local admin permission on, then you might take a second thought before actually delegating that access to begin with.

For a more detail explanation as to why this is the case then I recommend you read Mark Russinovich (very old but still relevant) blog post at . Put simply, a local admin can break group policy by surgically applying permissions to the registry keys of the GPO being applied so that even the SYSTEM account does not have permission to read or change those registry keys. For example if you try to apply permission to prevent users from installing software , or worse drives, then the local admin can override this setting and install software if they know what they are doing.

Also keep in mind that the same applies to the now deprecated Power Users group  (see ) as members of that group have the same effective access as local administrator.

Also importantly is to remember Law 3 of the 10 Immutable Laws of Security “If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.” which means that a stolen computer can also be easily compromised.

So, by now you might be thinking that all is lost… Security is too hard… we should all get new job. Well, not quiet…

Most of these problems can be mitigated if you just ensure users should only run as standard users level of access and that you have deployed BitLocker (or other full disk encryption software) to your computers. This is fairly common practice now and it does offer good level of confidence that your users, or someone malicious, cannot easily break in to your computers OS’s.

But of course there is no such thing as perfect security and just doing one or a few things is never enough. For example, malicious users or software can become local admin by taking advantage of local privilege escalation attacks or they can break BitLocker by launching DMA attacks via the Firewire port of your computers.

So when it comes to securing your computers in your environment Group Policy is NEVER then only answer. Instead it should be a part of a multi layered approach to securing your environment.

Vulnerability in Group Policy Fixed with MS15-011 & MS15-014

COG1_thumb.pngToday Microsoft published hotfix MS15-011 and MS15-014 that addressed a potential issues that could allow an man in the middle attack on computer. This vulnerability affected system that could be compromised by a man in the middle or what I like to call a “Coffee Shop Attack”. The summary is that by interfering with the traffic that is being sent to a client a malicious person can force a client to fall back to default weaker security settings. Once this is done it would then be possible to trick a client into running a malicious logon script.

Therefore Microsoft has released two hotfixes to fix this vulnerability:

  • MS015-011 – Microsoft has change the fall back behaviour of security setting if it encounters a corrupt Client Side Extension file.
  • MS015-014 – Microsoft has enable mutual authentication for Group Policy UNC paths meaning that a client cannot be tricked into access the same path using a different protocol such as WebDAV.

Needless to say that this is an important update to Windows and one that particularly changes the behaviour of Group Policy to mitigate the threat.

For a much more detail explanation of this see:

This update can only be downloaded via Windows Update but you can get more information on the individual patches at: