Restore Group Policy settings in Windows 10

The Group Policy Editor is a very handy tool in Windows 10 Pro, for businesses and educational institutions to manage many advanced aspects of other users’ access and functionality. This can include the types of programs people use, icons on the desktop, or even basic information, such as enabling or disabling Aero Shake to minimize Windows.

As useful as it is, maybe you’ve already created a Group Policy and want to reset it and start over? If so, read on.

Observe: You must have Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education to use this feature.

Computer configuration in relation to the user

The key element you encounter in the Group Policy Editor is the difference between your computer configuration and your user configuration. What is the difference between the two?

A computer configuration applies to one or more computers on a particular network. Everything you specify in the computer configuration applies to all users who log on to those computers.

The user configuration applies to a specific network user, so no matter which computer on the network the user logs on to, the settings for that configuration apply.

Reset individual Group Policy settings

If you have made only a few changes, you can reset the Group Policy settings one by one. Press to start Win + R, type gpedit.msc and press the Enter button.

In the Group Policy Editor window, locate and double-click the policy you want to restore. The status of the policies you edit is usually “Enabled” or “Disabled.” In my case, zero to minimize the Aero Shake window in practice.

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The above function opens the Policy Settings window. By default, all policies in the Group Policy Editor are set to Not set. To reset the policy, simply select the Not Configured radio button and click OK to save the changes.

This function changes the policy to the default. For the changes to take effect, restart the system or use the command below as an administrator:

Reset group settings

If you’re not sure what policies you’ve changed, or when there are too many changes and you can’t find and change them individually, you can just delete the folders where the policy settings are stored. This resets the Group Policy settings to the default.

To get started, locate the command prompt on the Start menu, right-click it, and then click Run as administrator.

The above function opens a command prompt with administrator privileges. Copy the command below and run it.

Now run this command:

When you run the above commands, Windows won’t give you any feedback, so don’t worry if you don’t see a confirmation message.

Again, you can either reboot the system or update the Group Policy settings by using the command below as an administrator.

Nevertheless, this approach has limitations. This method only resets the locally saved settings. If your system is managed by a network administrator, you will need to contact your administrator to make changes.

More Windows tips are how to learn to fix a “File is open in another program” error and this fun hacking that involves changing the default keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10.

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