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How to create and manage the Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Windows

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This document is designed to describe how you can manage a “Central Store” for group policy. Why might you want to do this? It might be necessary to enforce a new group policy item on a workstation.

Let’s take the example of needing to disable “Microsoft Interests” (Circa April 2021?). This is good example because it illustrates administrating something that did not originally exist for Windows 10. To administrate this Microsoft develops an appropriate ADMX file that enables the administration of features in through a GPO. The ADMX template maps to specific features of an operating system. Reflexively the operating system programmatically supports the configuration of of these items. The ADMX file is simply an XML-based file that creates that creates the mappings. Matching ADML (Language) files provides for language support.

The use of new or improved Administrative templates (ADMX/ADML) solves the question of how to teach Windows to administrate new items.

To supply ADMX templates to domain joined computers you simply copy them to the Central Policy Store. When the workstations “connect” they can pull these and “catch up”.

The Central Policy store is simply a “common” place that “Domain Joined” computer can use to inherit templates.

By default the Central Policy Store would be a folder stored just off your policies folder. So for a familiar example domain the path might be something like DC\SYSVOL\ad.contoso.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions. The files would be stored here.

If you have not used this method before then you will need to create the folder. Naturally be careful with your security permissions.

To administrate this feature it is just be a matter of creating or editing an GPO and (in this case) disabling the item. This is an example of a “Computer” based policy element.

Reference:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-client/group-policy/create-and-manage-central-store

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