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Performing an Authoritative Restore of a Group Policy Object

Updated: June 8, 2005

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

Restoring a Group Policy Object (GPO) restores the GPO to a previous state. A restore operation can be used in both of the following cases: the GPO was backed up but has since been deleted, or the GPO is live and you want to roll back to a known previous state. A restore operation retains the original GPO GUID even if the restore is recreating a deleted GPO. This is a key difference between the restore operation and the import or copy operations discussed in later sections of this guide.

A restore operation replaces the following components of a GPO:

  • GPO settings

  • ACLs on the GPO

  • WMI filter links (but not the filters themselves)

The restore operation does not restore links to a SOM (Scope of Management). Any existing links will continue to be used—for example, when restoring an existing GPO to a previous state. However, if the user has deleted a GPO and all links to the GPO, the user must recreate these links after restoring the GPO. To facilitate recreating these links, you can view the report in the backup to identify all links in the domain of the GPO.

For more information, see Administering Group Policy with the GPMC on the Microsoft Web site (

Task Requirements

The following tool is required to perform the procedures for this task:

  • Group Policy Management Console

To complete this task, perform the following procedure:

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