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How to edit Administrative Template Policy Settings in Windows Server

In Windows Server 2008, Administrative templates are XML-based files with the file extension .admx that contain group policies. In order to save storage space, Admx files are stored centrally in the C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions folder, rather than individual Group Policy Objects (GPOs).

Administrative templates provide the user the ability to configure settings to manage server and client computers. When a GPO is created, default administrative templates are assigned to it so that they can be configured according to the relevant GPO requirements.  It is also possible to create a custom administrative template with file extension .admx to implement a group policy.

This article shows a couple of examples on editing the Policy Settings of Administrative Templates.

User Configuration

If we wanted to edit an Administrative Template for a particular user’s Driver Installation setting, perform the following steps on their computer.

On the desktop, Navigate to Start and select Run. In the Run dialog box, type ‘gpedit.msc’. Press OK to launch Local Group Policy Editor.

Admin-Templates-Run-Local-Group-Policy-Editor

Navigate to the folder User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Driver Installation. The Driver Installation settings are displayed.

Admin-Template-Local-Group-Policy-Editor-Driver-Installation-Settings

You want to configure the setting Turn off Windows Update device driver search prompt. Right click the setting and select Edit from the drop down list.

Admin-Template-LGPE-Driver-Install-Edit-Setting

In the Turn Off Windows Update Device Driver Search Prompt dialog box, click the Enabled radio button and select OK to save the changes.

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The Admin Template has now been successfully configured (enabled in our case).

Admin-Template-LGPE-Driver-Install-Setting-Enabled

Computer configuration

In another scenario, we want to edit administrative templates for a GPO to define the Domain Name System (DNS) to which computers in the group will send queries when trying to resolve names.

Perform the following steps as an Administrator on a Server Computer.

Navigate to the Start menu, click on Administrative Tools and then select Group Policy Management.

Admin-Templates-GPM

Group Policy Management opens. Right click the GPO you want to edit (in our case, the Default Domain Controllers GPO) and click Edit.

Admin-Template-GPM-Edit-GPO

Group Policy Management Editor console displays. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Network\DNS Client. DNS client settings are displayed.

Admin-Template-GPME-DNS-Client-Settings

Right click the DNS Servers setting and select Edit from the drop down list.

Admin-Templates-GPME-DNS-Servers-Edit

The DNS Servers Properties dialog box displays, select the Enable radio button and specify its IP address. For our example, we type 192.168.100.8 and click OK to save the changes. The DNS Servers setting has been configured.

Admin-Templates-GPME-DNS-Servers-Enabled-OK

As a result, when users that have the Default Domain Controllers GPO applied to them attempt to resolve their names, their queries will be sent to the DNS server specified in the administrative template.

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