Local Group Policy Editor allows network administrators to configure all user computers connected in the network. This is primarily used in organizations for the purposes like disabling USB ports or restricting some settings in Edge browser. However, you can also use the app to configure individual computer’s settings which are not generally available as part of Windows Settings app. If you have played around with the policies and ended up in messing up with something, here is how to reset Local Group Policy Editor settings to initial state in Windows 11.
Local Group Policy Editor
The app comes as part of Windows Pro, Enterprise and Students editions. However, you can also enable it in Windows Home edition with a simple trick as explained in this article. It has two sections for computer and individual user level policies. You can navigate through various policies to enable or disable them. Unfortunately, there are no frontend settings available in the app to restore all the policy settings to default value with one click.
Since changing policy values will affect appearance, access, security and performance, it is a good idea to take a complete system backup or set a restore point before trying to reset.
1. Reset Group Policy Settings from Terminal App
The first option is to use Command Prompt from Terminal app.
- Right-click on Start icon in taskbar and select “Terminal (Admin)” menu.
- If you see Windows PowerShell app, click the small down arrow in title bar and open Command Prompt tab.
- Copy paste or type the following commands in the Command Prompt one by one and press enter key.
RD /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers" RD /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy" gpupdate /force
- The first two commands are for removing the group policy editor related folders. The parameters /S is to remove files including that folder and /Q instructs to run the command quietly without any prompt. You will not see any message when running the first two commands.
- The last command will reset all policy setting forcibly. This will take few seconds and you will see “Computer Policy update has completed successfully” and “User Policy update has completed successfully”. It indicates both computer and user policies are reset to initial state.
Now, open Local Group Policy Editor app and check all previously changed policies are reset back to default values. Also, make sure to navigate through entire system and check everything looks and works fine.
2. Reset Group Policy Settings Using Registry Editor
Second method is to use Registry Editor instead of Terminal app. Again, make sure to take a registry backup before editing.
- Press “Windows Logo + R” keys and open Run dialog box.
- Type regedit in the box and press enter to open Registry Editor app.
- Copy and paste the following path in Registry Editor address bar to go to that location.
- Right-click on the “Microsoft” folder and select “Delete” option.
- You will be prompted to confirm deletion of the key and its subkeys, click “Yes”.
- After that copy and paste the following path in the address bar and go to that location.
- Similarly, right-click on the “Microsoft” folder and “Delete” it and its content permanently.
- Close the Registry Editor app and restart your system.
Open Local Group Policy Editor app and check through your system to confirm everything is working fine.
Points to Consider When Resetting Group Policy Settings
Remember the following points when you want to reset the policies in your system:
- Both the methods explained above needs administrator privilege.
- Resetting policies will delete all your customizations related to appearance, performance, security, etc.
- If you see the policy values are not changed after resetting, it could be due to some apps or malware locked the policies thus prevent editing. In this case, make sure to close all the apps and scan your system to clean up the malware.