How to Use System Policies On a Standalone Computer

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Article ID: 147381 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q147381
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, you should first make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat). Both are hidden files in the Windows folder.
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This article describes how to configure Windows to use a system policy on a stand-alone computer (a computer that is not on a network).

WARNING: Using System Policy Editor (Poledit.exe) incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of System Policy Editor can be solved. Use System Policy Editor at your own risk.


You can use system policies in Windows to customize parts of the desktop or to restrict access to certain programs or options.

To use system policies, user profiles must be enabled and System Policy Editor must be installed. System Policy Editor is available in the following locations:

Windows 95

The Admin\Apptools\Poledit folder on the Windows 95 CD-ROM.

NOTE: System Policy Editor is not included in the floppy disk version of Windows 95. You can download Policy.exe, a self-extracting file containing Poledit.exe, from online services. Please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about downloading Policy.exe:
135315 CD-ROM Extras for Microsoft Windows 95 Upgrade

Windows 98

The Tools\Reskit\Netadmin\Poledit folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM.

Use the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel to install System Policy Editor.

To configure a standalone Windows-based computer to use system policies, follow these steps:
  1. Click the Start button, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type poledit, and then click OK.
  3. In System Policy Editor, click Open Registry on the File menu.
  4. Double-click the Local Computer icon, then the Network icon, and then double-click the Update icon.
  5. Click the Remote Update check box, and then click Manual in the Update Mode box. In the Path box, type the path and file name for your system policy file. You can place this file in any folder on the hard disk. Click OK.
  6. On the File menu, click Save. On the File menu, click New File.
  7. Select the system policy settings you want to use.
  8. On the File menu, click Save As. Save the file with the name and path you used in step 5.

    NOTE: If you try to save a file with an extension other than .pol, you receive the error message "An error occurred writing the registry. The file cannot be saved." Therefore, if you specified a file name with an extension other than .pol in step 5, save the file with a .pol extension in step 8, quit System Policy Editor, and then rename the file to match the file name you specified in step 5. Restart Windows.
  9. Quit System Policy Editor, and then restart Windows.
For information about how to set up locally-based system policies on a computer running Windows NT, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
168579 How to Set Up Locally-Based System Policies


Article ID: 147381 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.5
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
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