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Group Policy objects

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Group Policy objects

Policy settings are stored in Group Policy objects. Group Policy Object Editor can be thought of as an application whose document type is the Group Policy object, just as a word processor might use .doc or .txt files.

There are two kinds of Group Policy objects: local and nonlocal. Local Group Policy objects are stored on individual computers. Only one local Group Policy object exists on a computer, and it has a subset of the settings that are available in a nonlocal Group Policy object. Local Group Policy object settings can be overwritten by nonlocal settings if they are in conflict; otherwise, both groups of settings apply. For more information, see Local Group Policy.

Nonlocal Group Policy objects, which are stored on a domain controller, are available only in an Active Directory environment. They apply to users and computers in the site, domain, or organizational unit with which the Group Policy object is associated. For more information, see Storage of Group Policy objects.

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