You cannot see Group Policy settings after you imported a custom or third party ADM template

Author:

Florian Frommherz MVP

COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS CONTENT DISCLAIMER

MICROSOFT CORPORATION AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, OR ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED HEREIN. ALL SUCH INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WORKMANLIKE EFFORT, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. YOU SPECIFICALLY AGREE THAT IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE INFORMATION AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED HEREIN, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF MICROSOFT OR ANY OF ITS SUPPLIERS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES.

SUMMARY

The Microsoft Windows built-in Group Policy Editor allows administrators to import custom or third party ADM templates. With these ADM templates, administrators can alter client registry settings like the settings that are shipped with Microsoft Windows.

SYMPTOMS

After you import a custom or third party administrative template (ADM), it may happen that you can only see the category name in the tree of either the "User Configuration\Administrative Templates" or the "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates" node. You however cannot see any or not all of the Group Policy settings in the right pane of the Group Policy editor that you expect.
 

CAUSE

The Group Policy Editor by default only shows settings within administrative templates (ADM) that do not "tattoo" the client registry if the Group Policy gets deleted or moved. This means, that if a Group Policy doesn't apply to the user or computer any more, the changes made to the registry will be reverted back to their original state. Those settings are called "Policies" and change registry keys under the following four nodes:
 
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
 
Settings that alter other parts of the registry are called "Preferences". This behavior is called "tattooing". Changes to the registry will not be reverted back to their original state after a Group Policy does not apply any more.
 
The Group Policy Editor only shows Policies, not Preferences.

RESOLUTION

This behavior is by design.
 
To resolve the issue, right-click the "Administrative Templates" node of either "User Configuration" or "Computer Configuration", choose "View" and "Filtering" from the menu. The "Filtering" windows opens. Uncheck both options at the bottom of the window:
"Only show configured policy settings" and "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed".
The Group Policy Editor should then show all settings from the custom or third party ADM template. 
Properties

Article ID: 555934 - Last Review: 14 Feb 2017 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 1, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3

Feedback