This article describes how to keep domain group policies from also applying to administrator accounts, selected users, or both. Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 use group policies to control operating system behavior and security settings for users and computers in a Windows network. Group policies can be applied either to users or to computers, or to both. Group policies can be applied at the site, domain, or organizational unit level.
Prevent Group Policies from applying to Administrator accounts
Typically, if you want Group Policy to apply only to specific accounts (either user accounts, computer accounts, or both), you can put the accounts in an organizational unit, and then apply Group Policy at that organizational unit level. However, there may be situations where you want to apply Group Policy to a whole domain, although you may not want those policy settings to also apply to administrator accounts or to other specific users or groups. The following procedures can prevent Group Policy from applying to administrative accounts (or any other group or user account that you specify) by editing the Discretionary Access Control List (DACL) for the policy.
Use Active Directory Users and Computers
Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
In the console tree on the left, right-click the name of the domain in which the policy is applied. Then, click Properties.
Click the Group Policy tab.
Click the Group Policy object that you do not want to apply to administrators. By default, the only policy that is listed in the window is the Default Domain Policy.
Click Properties, and then click the Security tab.
Note If the group or user who you do not want policies to apply does not appear in the list, follow these steps:
Click the domain in which the account resides.
Locate the account, and then click it in the list.
Click the administrators group (or other group or user) that you do not want the policy to apply to.
In the Permissions window, click to select the Deny check box for the Apply Group Policy permission.
Note This action prevents the Group Policy object from being accessed and applied to the selected group or user account.
Use Group Policy Management Console
Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Group Policy Management.
In the console tree on the left, expand Forest.
Expand Domain Name.
Expand Group Policy Objects.
Click the Group Policy object that you do not want to apply to administrators.
In the display pane on the right, click the Delegation tab.
Click the Advanced button in the lower-right corner of the display pane.
Click Add, and then type the account name that you do not want the Group Policy object to apply to.
Note Group Policy objects contain settings that apply to computer objects and to user objects. If you want only to restrict user settings from applying, add only the user account that you do not want the policy settings to apply to. If you want only to restrict computer settings from applying, add only the computer account that you do not want the policy settings to apply to. To add computer accounts, you have to click the Object Types button, and then click to select the Computers check box.
Make sure that the newly-added account is selected in the Group or user names window. Then, scroll down in the Permissions window, and click to select the Deny check box for the Apply group policy permission.
Click Yes at the Windows Security prompt.
For additional information about servers or workstations in a non-domain environment (workgroup), click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
293655 How to apply local policies to all users except administrators on Windows 2000 in a workgroup setting
For additional information about related topics, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255550 How to configure account policies in Active Directory
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Datacenter Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)