Remote Group Policy updates are visible to users

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Article ID: 2741537 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When an administrator uses the remote Group Policy update functionality that was first added to the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and Windows PowerShell in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, users see a command prompt display. When users examine the display, they see that GPUPDATE.EXE is running interactively for each user who is logged on. However, if a user closes the command prompt instead of waiting for it to close itself, user Group Policy does not update for that user.

Cause

The Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 GPMC and the Invoke-GpUpdate cmdlet provide remote update functionality by creating one-time scheduled tasks on targeted computers. This provides remote update functionality to the following operating systems without the need for software updates: 
  • Windows Vista 
  • Windows 7 
  • Windows Server 2008 
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

These scheduled tasks run in the context of each user who is logged on. The Windows Task Scheduler design requires an interactive prompt in this scenario.

Resolution

If you want to update computer policy and not user policy on remote computers, you should use the -target computer argument together with the Invoke-GpUpdate cmdlet. This method does not create per-user scheduled tasks. Otherwise, you should train users to understand this specific command prompt and should remind them to wait for it to close itself and not close it prematurely. 

More information

This behavior is by design. For more information about the Invoke-GpUpdate cmdlet, go to the following Microsoft TechNet website:
Invoke-GPUpdate
For more information about remote Group Policy update and other Group Policy features that were added in Windows Server 2012, go to the following Microsoft TechNet website: 
Group Policy Overview

Properties

Article ID: 2741537 - Last Review: September 25, 2012 - Revision: 5.0
Applies to
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Professional
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
Keywords: 
KB2741537

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