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When you open the Group Policy Editor MMC snap-in tool, focused either on a local GPO or AD-based one, some Group Policy areas that are expected to appear may not be found.
Some policy areas are missing when you open up the Group Policy editor. These missing policy areas are different than the ones that are normally missing when you're focused on a local GPO.
Each area of policy functionality is implemented by an MMC snap-in DLL that is registered by default on a standard Windows 2000, 2003 or XP installation. Occasionally those DLLs can be un-registered or removed and when that happens, the underlying group policy editing functionality they implement will not appear in the Group Policy editor UI.
To resolve this issue, re-register the appropriate MMC snap-in DLL that implements the missing functionality by issuing the following command at a Windows command prompt
regsvr32 <snap-in DLL name>
By default, all of the Group Policy related MMC snap-in DLLs can be found in %systemroot%\system32
The following lists the default Group Policy snap-in DLLs that you can re-register:
Administrative Templates and Scripts: gptext.dll Folder Redirection: fde.dll Internet Explorer Maintenance: ieaksie.dll IP Security: ipsecsnp.dll Public Key and Software Restriction: certmgr.dll Remote Installation Services: rigpsnap.dll Security: wsecedit.dll Software Installation: appmgr.dll
When focused on the local GPO with the MMC Group Policy Editor snap-in, it is normal that some policy areas that you would normally see when editing an AD-based GPO are not present. This is expected behavior because the local GPO only supports a subset of the features in an AD-based GPO. However, sometimes even when focused on AD-based GPOs, some policy areas that should be present are missing. In that case, the most likely cause is missing registrations for the MMC snap-in DLLs that implement that functionality, and by re-registering the missing DLL and restarting the Group Policy Editor, the problem can be resolved.