Windows is the most used operating system in the world and comes with different editions. The most popular are Home and Pro editions which will cost you $139 and $199.99 respectively. Though most end user features are available in both versions, there is one important administrative feature missing in Home edition. That is Local Group Policy Editor which you can use to control the permissions by setting policies. If you are using Windows 10 or 11 Home edition and wanted to access Local Group Policy Editor, here is how you can do that.
Why Group Policy Editor is Important?
The ideal purpose of the tool is to give privilege for administrators to control the computers on network. However, you can use the tool on a single computer for various purposes like disabling USB ports without changing device drivers. You can set the policies at computer level or at specific user account level to control the behavior.
Opening Group Policy Editor in Windows Pro, Student or Enterprise Edition
If you are already using Pro, Student or Enterprise editions of Windows 10 or 11, you can use one of the below methods to open the tool.
- Press “Window Logo and R” keys to open Run dialog box. Type gpedit.msc and press “OK” to open Local Group Policy Editor app.
- Alternatively, you can use the same command in Terminal (Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell).
- Other easy option is to search and open “Edit group policy” using Windows Search.
If you get an error while opening the app, there you either do not have administrator permission or you are using Windows Home edition.
Enabling Local Group Policy Editor in Windows Home
In most cases, you need to edit Registry Editor entries to change configuration settings in Windows Home edition. This is not recommended as it can cause unexpected issues. The best solution is to use policy editor to enable or disable the setting without affecting other stuffs. In addition, if Local Group Policy Editor is the only reason you want to upgrade from Home to Pro edition, then you can save money by following the below instructions. Though this is a lengthy method, it works in both Windows 10 and 11 Home editions without any third-party apps.
1. Create gpedit.bat Batch File
- Open the Notepad from the Start menu and create a new blank text document.
- Copy the below code and paste in your Notepad document.
@echo off pushd "%~dp0" dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~3*.mum >List.txt dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~3*.mum >>List.txt for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . List.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i" pause
- It should look something like below in your file.
- Press “Ctrl + S” keys to save the Notepad file.
- Now give this file a name. You can give any name to the file but make sure to add .bat at the end.
- For example, let us give gpedit.bat and then hit on the “Save” button to save the file in desktop.
2. Running gpedit.bat Batch File
Now that we have created a batch file, next step is right-click on the file you just saved and select “Run as administrator” option.
It will open Command Prompt and start adding all required packages for the Local Group Policy client. This may take some time and wait for the process to complete. After the process is completed 100%, you will see a message “The operation completed successfully…” and press any key to continue.
That’s all!!! You have activated Local Group Policy Editor in Windows Home edition.
3. Testing Group Policy Editor in Windows Home
As mentioned above, you can follow any of the methods to open the Local Group Policy Editor tool. Just press the “Windows + R” keys to open the Run dialog box. Then type gpedit.msc and hit “OK”.
This is how you can open the Local Group Policy Editor in Home edition.
4. Enabling or Disabling Policies
The tool has Computer Configuration and User Configuration sections. You can navigate through the sub-sections to find the available policies. Let us take a random example to disable a policy in the editor. Navigate to “User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge” section from the sidebar. Unfortunately, you do not have any option to copy paste the location like File Explorer or Registry Editor. You need to expand the sections for navigating to down the level folders.
You will see hundreds of policies available in each folder and select a policy to view its details. For example, select “Allow Developer Tools” policy and you can clearly see the explanation showing disabling this will prevent opening F12 developer tools in Microsoft Edge browser.
Double-click on the policy and you will see “Not Configured”, “Enabled” and “Disabled” options. Most policies are not configured by default and you select “Enabled” to forcing the policy and “Disabled” to deactivate the function.
Click “Apply” button to apply the changes and make sure to restart the computer before checking the policy change is working.