Local Group Policy objects overview for GPMC
Updated: January 21, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Local Group Policy objects
The local Group Policy object (local GPO) is stored on each individual computer, in the hidden %systemroot%\System32\GroupPolicy directory. Each computer running a version of Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Professional has exactly one local GPO, regardless of whether the computers are part of an Active Directory environment.
Limitations of the local Group Policy object
Local GPOs do not support certain extensions, such as Folder Redirection or Group Policy Software Installation. Local GPOs do support many security settings, but the Security Settings extension of the Group Policy Object Editor does not support remote management of local GPOs. Thus, for example, the command line gpedit.msc /gpcomputer:"Computer1" will allow you to edit the local GPO on Computer1, but Security Settings will not appear.
Local GPOs are always processed, but are the least influential GPOs in an Active Directory environment, because Active Directory-based GPOs have precedence.
For more information about the Group Policy extensions that differ in the local GPO as compared with Active Directory-based GPOs, see Folder redirection overview for GPMC, Software installation overview for GPMC, and Security settings overview for GPMC.