If you’re in IT, you may need to prevent Group Policy from applying to your Microsoft Windows computer from time to time for testing purposes. Here are a couple of options.
Note: To perform any of these steps, you will need local administrator rights to your computer.
Option 1 – Disable Group Policy Refresh
This setting will prevent Group Policy from updating until you logout or restart the computer.
- Hold down the Windows Key and press “R” to bring up the Run command box.
- Type “gpedit.msc“, then press “Enter“.
- In the “Local Computer Policy“, go to “Computer Configuration” > “Administrative Templates” > “System” > “Group Policy“.
- Open the “Turn off background refresh of Group Policy” setting.
- Set this setting to “Enabled“, then select “OK“.
Option 2 – Rename gpupdate.exe
These steps will permanently prevent Group Policy updates from applying to a machine.
Note: Be sure that Windows is set to show hidden and system files.
- From File Explorer, navigate to C:\Windows\System32.
- Right-click the “gpupdate.exe” file, then choose “Properties“.
- Select the “Security” tab, then select “Advanced“.
- Select the “Change” link next to the Owner, give yourself ownership of the file, then select “OK“.
- Select “Edit“, give your account “Full Control” > “Allow” access, select “OK“, then “OK” again.
- Right-click the “gpupdate.exe” file, then choose “Rename“.
- Rename the file to “gpupdate.old“.
Group policy will no longer run on your machine.