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CurrentVersion\Policies Subkey

Updated: March 28, 2003

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




The Policies subkey contains entries that store Group Policy settings.

Group Policy adds, deletes, and changes the values of entries in this subkey when you enable or disable a policy setting. When the policy settings affecting a particular user or computer change (such as when the user moves to a new user group) Group Policy deletes the entries for the old group and adds the entries for the new group.

Group Policy manages registry entries in four Policies subkeys:

The Policies subkeys in HKCU store policy-related entries that are configured separately for each user. The system adds these entries when you enable (and, for some policies, when you disable) a policy setting in the User Configuration folder in Group Policy.

The Policies subkeys in HKLM store policy-related entries that apply to all users of the computer. The system adds these entries when you enable (and, for some policies, when you disable) a policy setting in the Computer Configuration folder in Group Policy.

Many policy-related entries can appear in both HKCU and HKLM. Typically, when both entries exist, the entries in HKLM take precedence over the entries in HKCU.

This subkey stores policy-related entries for Windows NT 4.0 and earlier. The SOFTWARE\Policies subkey was added for Windows 2000, and it remains in Windows Server 2003. Please note that the different versions of Windows support different policy settings.

Change Method

To add, remove, or change the value of entries in this subkey, use Group Policy.


  • 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.


  • Do not use the registry editor to change the values in this subkey. If you do, they will be overwritten the next time your policy settings are refreshed.

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