group policy computer configuration or user configuration

i am trying to figure out the difference between using the settings in computer configuration compared to user configuration.
if you have a setting in the computer configuration, will the settings take place no matter who logs in as long as that computer is in the ou?

some of the settings are the same, computer configuration, windows settings, shortcuts and user configuration, windows settings, shortcuts. what is the difference? when is each applied?
stevekee65Asked:
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Norm DickinsonGuruCommented:
Here is an overview of the precedence in Group Policy: https://emeneye.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/group-policy-order-of-precedence-faq/

Here is a Microsoft article that does a pretty good job of explaining the precedence as well.
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/musings_of_a_technical_tam/2012/02/15/group-policy-basics-part-2-understanding-which-gpos-to-apply/

Each update is applied in order. There are options to make sure a particular policy survives the depths of the GPO, and other options to ensure it only works on the layer it is found. (You can get very complex very quickly if you start to use those options for much.)

There is also a tool to help compute the resultant policy which is explained in the Microsoft page. Enjoy!
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sAMAccountNameSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
This is a rich and complex topic with several components that should be considered.

You are correct (at least superficially) that computer settings will be applied regardless of who logs on.  Some policy configuration settings exist in both user and computer simply to provide you the flexibility to choose how you want it applied.  Some exist in both because they have a specific context and though the may look and behave similar, they are configured differently.  There is also loopback policy processing which can further affect how policy is applied.

Theres a ton of really good resources out there and I would urge you to read up on it as much as you can.  Im not sure if a thread like this will ever capture all there is to understand everything (client side polciy processing, configuration, scoping, filtering etc...)

This series is a great place to start
Group policy basics tutorial (MSDN Blog)

Some additional information regarding client side and loopback policy processing
Client Side Processing (technet)
Loopback policy processing (DirTeam blog)
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stevekee65Author Commented:
how can i install something on the client so that all of the users will be able to see it and use it?
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stevekee65Author Commented:
so if i apply a shortcut to the computer configuration, will it be seen by everyone who uses the computer?
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sAMAccountNameSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
It should unless another policy configures the same setting differently and overrides it.
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MacleanSystem EngineerCommented:
I think you need to read the above articles, which explain what you can or cannot do. Not much point for anyone re-writing the book on it :)
Or if you merely wish to know how to do a particular tasks, perhaps ask us to tell you what you need to do, by describing the work scope.

Based on what you are asking here, I would suggest that  if you wish to push out a shortcut to all users, that you follow this Microsoft blog which shows you how to, including pics etc. Good luck!.

Adding Desktop Shortcuts via GPO
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