Will Windows 10 and Office 2016 ADMX/ADML files affect Windows 7 and Office 2010?

I'd like to import updated ADMX/ADML files for Windows 10 and Office 2016 into my existing environment consisting of Windows 7 and Office 2010.  Active Directory is Win 2012.

Is it okay to import the ADMX/ADML files and overwrite the existing files?  Are they backwards compatible?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
First, to clarify.  ADMX and ADML files don't impact existing group policies.  They are templates in the truest sense in that they define the settings exposed in the GP Editor GUI.  They don't actually implement the settings, nor change existing policies.  You could *delete* every ADMX and ADML file in there, not replace them, and your existing policies will still work.

Is it okay to import them?  Yes.

Is it okay to overwrite them?  Yes, but HAVE A BACKUP!

Are they backwards compatible?  95%, yes.  There are a few settings that Microsoft changed the name or location...and if the old file is also present, it causes the editor to throw an error.   They are easy to fix, if you hit them at all, and again...to stress my first point, this WON'T impact existing policies.  It'd just make editing policies or creating new ones difficult until you fix the error.  Which is editing or deleting the old/offending file.  If you hit the error, guaranteed it's already been documented and can fix it with a five minute google.  But that does mean the answer to your question is that no, they are not 100% compatible.

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mcnuttlawAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the distinction.  I'll give it a go (after making a local backup) and report back.  

When you say "if the old file is also present", do you mean the old ADMX/ADML file?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Yes.  There is one instance that I know of that Microsoft consolidated a few settings into a "new" file and removed the old file from new OSes.

But in a central store, some people simply copy-and-replace.  Well, the old file isn't removed in that instance (even though it is no longer in new "clean" installs.)  And the new file with the same setting is also copied over.  So your central store now has the same setting defined in two files, which GPEditor doesn't like *at all.*  So the existence of the old file and new file causes GPEdit to throw an error and you get to track down the old file and remove it or do something else with it.  It's primarily only a problem if you use the central store and leave old copies of files around when you copy new files over.
mcnuttlawAuthor Commented:
Worked like a charm.  Copied in the new files and created new GPO's.

Thanks for the assistance.
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