Twelve Windows 10 GPOs It Should Know About

Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of Group Policy objects for managing Windows 10 computers. Only one handful – 12 to be precise – is specific to Windows 10 Enterprise.

Nevertheless, the 12 Windows 10 GPOs can go a long way in IT's attempt to control users' desktops. Group Policies allow IT to enable Windows Spotlight, prevent lock screen from showing, manage startup layout and more.

Administrative Template Files (ADMX) where the Group's policies live, consist of structured extensible markup language (XML) that provides a language neutral reference to each policy. The files work with language-specific resource files (ADML) that contain the current display name and help descriptions for these policies.

A quick introduction to the ADMX file

Each ADMX file contains a set of related policies that correspond to a policy path in the Group Policy Structure. For example, the CloudContent.admx file includes the policy Configure Windows Spotlight on Lock Screen . If IT Professionals use Group Policy Editor on a Windows 10 machine to view local group policies, they would find the policy by the following route:

User Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Cloud Content

User Configuration indicates the scope of the policy, which in this case is User. If the scope was Machine, the first item would be read Computer Configuration . A policy may be available in the scope of use, machine scope or both.

Windows 10 GPOs can go a long way in IT's efforts to control users' desktops.

Administrative Templates are common to all policies in the ADMX files. As a result of this structure, both Computer Configuration node and User Configuration node are in the Group Policy editor, where each node contains the subnode Administrative Templates .

The remaining elements in the policy path are specific to the policies in a particular ADMX file. In this case, the elements correspond to Windows Components> Cloud Content to the CloudContent.admx file that contains the Configure Windows Spotlight on Lock Screen along with other policies.

Each policy has a friendly display name and a formal reference name. Configure Windows Spotlight on Lock Screen is the display name in this example. The reference name is ConfigureWindowsSpotlight . The ADMX and ADML files use the reference names to sync with each other. The screen name appears only in the current ADML file and is the name that appears in the local group policy editor in Windows.

The following sections provide an overview of the Windows 10 Enterprise Group Policy that is specific to the version of the operating system based on their ADMX files.

CloudContent.admx Template File

Policy Path: [scope]> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Cloud Content

CloudContent.admx file contains more policies related primarily to Windows Spotlight, an option to display different background images on the lock screen and automatically display suggestions for Windows 10 features. Some of them are exclusively Windows 10 GPOs.

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