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Group policy preferences and Internet Explorer 11

Group Policy preferences are less strict than Group Policy settings, based on:


  Group Policy preferences Group Policy settings


  • Not enforced.

  • Has the user interface turned on.

  • Can only be refreshed or applied once.

  • Enforced.

  • Has the user interface turned off.

  • Can be refreshed multiple times.


Lets you create preference items for registry settings, files, and folders.

  • Requires app support.

  • Needs you to create Administrative Templates for new policy settings.

  • Won't let you create policy settings to manage files and folders.

Local Group Policy

Not available.



Supports apps that aren't Group Policy-aware.

Requires apps to be Group Policy-aware.


  • Overwrites the original settings.

  • Removing the preference doesn't restore the original setting.

  • Doesn't overwrite the original settings.

  • Stored in the Policy branches of the registry.

  • Removing the setting restores the original setting.

Targeting and filtering

  • Targeting is specific, with a user interface for each type of targeting item.

  • Supports targeting at the individual preference item level.

  • Filtering is based on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and requires writing WMI queries.

  • Supports filtering at the Group Policy Object (GPO) level.

For more information about Group Policy preferences, see the Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server.

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