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How to Disable Group Policy on Your Computer

March 22, 2009

in privacy & security,Windows

by Tina Gasperson

Group policies are set by the network administrator to control the desktop experience of network computer users and to help prevent security risks. Network administrators can prevent users from running certain programs and applications or from seeing certain folders and drives on the network. Disabling a group policy is probably not going to earn you any Brownie points with your employer, so you may want to think twice about performing this operation. Not only that, but you’ll be making changes to your Windows registry – and if you’re not very, very careful, you could make your computer unbootable.

If you still want to disable group policies on your computer, be sure to set a system restore point so that you can undo the changes if necessary. To open your registry, click Start, and Run, then type regedit and press Enter.

Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand the subfolders. Each subsequent click is on a subfolder of the one before it.

Click on SOFTWARE to expand.

Click on Policies.

Click on Microsoft.

Click on Windows.

Click on System, the final subfolder, and look in the window to the right. In the NAME column, find DisableGPO. The TYPE column next to this value should read REG_DWORD. The part you will change is in the next column, Data. Double click on the NAME value and a window called Edit DWORD Value appears. If group policy is enabled on your computer, the Value Data should be a 0. Change it to 1 and click OK. Close the window. Group policies are now disabled on your computer.

To undo this change, open regedit again, browse to the same location as specified above, and change the 1 back to a 0.

In some cases, the DisableGPO entry may not exist, even though Group Policies are enabled on your system. In that case you can create an entry for it. Browse to the correct subfolder and right click in the right-side window. Hover the cursor over “New”, then scroll to “DWORD Value” and click. “New Value #1” will appear, already highlighted. Delete the title and enter DisableGPO. Now your value is created, and you can proceed as above to change the Value Data to 1. Click OK and close the window.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.