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Set the Group Policy refresh rate for computers

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

To set the Group Policy refresh rate for computers

  1. Open Group Policy Object Editor.

  2. In the console tree, click Group Policy.


    • Group Policy object\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy

  3. In the details pane, double-click Group Policy refresh interval for computers.

  4. On the Setting tab, click Enabled.

  5. In the Minutes boxes, type or click the number of minutes for the refresh interval and random offset, and then click OK.

  6. In the details pane, double-click Turn off background refresh of Group Policy.

  7. On the Setting tab, click Disabled, and then click OK.


  • To complete this procedure, you must be logged on as a member of the Domain Administrators security group, the Enterprise Administrators security group, or the Group Policy Creator Owners security group.

  • To open Group Policy Object Editor, see Related Topics.

  • By default, the System.adm file is installed in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates so that you can view these options. For information about how to add or remove an Administrative Templates file like System.adm, see Related Topics.

  • Client computers request policy from a domain controller when any of the following events occur:

    • A computer starts up.

    • A user logs on.

    • An application requests a refresh through the RefreshPolicy() application programming interface (API).

    • The user requests an immediate refresh.

    • One of the Group Policy refresh interval policies is enabled, and the interval has transpired.

    • Policy is not imposed by the domain controller; it is requested by the client computer.

  • The minimum setting for the Group Policy refresh interval (zero minutes) actually takes about seven seconds between requests for a refresh. Very short refresh interval settings should not be used in a production environment, except briefly for testing.

  • Group Policy Software Installation and Folder Redirection are not affected by policy refreshes.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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