Group Policy Query - Applying an enabled GPO with no settings defined.

Posted on 2014-08-06
Last Modified: 2014-08-06
Hi all,

I have just discovered a policy that has been applied (Probably by a previous member of staff) to an OU that is showing as applied in RSoP but has no settings defined.  Both the Computer and User configuration sections are enabled but have no settings.

This is applied in the middle of the set of policies that are being applied.

What will be the effect of this?  Can you think of a reason why this has been done?

I am thinking that it has absolutely no effect but it may be that it resets ALL preceding GPO settings to undefined and then all subsequent ones do apply as normal.

Please can someone advise me on this?  I have done a search on the web but can't find anything as guidance for this eventuality.

Question by:Howco
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    If there are indeed no settings defined in the GPO, then its application will have no effect at all (except for an increase in GPO processing time).
    This might have been a test GPO where the setting(s) configured have been removed again after testing.

    Author Comment

    Hi oBdA,

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I need to be absolutely sure of this as I will be making a change to our live environment and hundreds of users will be affected.  Can you provide any evidence to back up you statement?

    I hope you understand why I need to be sure.

    Many thanks.  I really appreciate the help here.
    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    That's how Group Policy works; if there's noting defined, there's nothing to do (and I doubt you'll find any documentation explicitly stating this).
    An empty GPO will especially not reset anything that has been done before, and neither will it have any influence on whatever happens after. You can only undo changes from a GPO applied earlier if you explicitly set the policies.
    I've been working with Group Policies since their release with Windows 2000 AD (and NT4's System Policies before that), so I like to think that I know what I'm talking about.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks oDbA,

    I will remove the policy.

    Many thanks for your assistance.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Free Trending Threat Insights Every Day

    Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

    Our Group Policy work started with Small Business Server in 2000. Microsoft gave us an excellent OU and GPO model in subsequent SBS editions that utilized WMI filters, OU linking, and VBS scripts. These are some of experiences plus our spending a lo…
    NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of transferring the five major, necessary Active Directory Roles, commonly referred to as the FSMO roles from a Windows Server 2008 domain controller to a Windows Server 2012 domain controlle…
    With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…

    758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    10 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now