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Updated: March 28, 2003

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




The Explorer subkey contains entries that store the configurations of Group Policy settings for Windows Explorer and for the Windows interface. These include policy settings for the Start menu, taskbar, desktop, and Control Panel. Group Policy creates and maintains the entries in this subkey, and Windows Explorer reads and interprets them.

This subkey stores policy-related entries that are configured separately for each user. The Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer subkey in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE stores policy-related entries that apply to all users of the computer.


  • Many of the entries in the Policies subkeys have counterparts in other registry subkeys. These counterparts, known as preferences, have the same effect as entries in the Policies subkey. However, when an entry appears in the Policies subkey, the preference is almost always ignored. For details, see the individual entry descriptions.

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