Microsoft lists Windows 10 group policies to avoid

Microsoft has released a list of twenty-five Group Policies that administrators should not use in Windows 10 and Windows 11 because they do not provide optimal behavior or cause unexpected results.

Since the release of Windows 10, version 1511, in November 2015, Microsoft has continued to evolve the operating system based on customer feedback, security enhancements, new features, and general optimizations.

However, this has left a confusing mess of Group Policies that no longer work properly, cause unexpected behavior, or are replaced with new policies that provide better performance and user experience.

Senior Windows Program Manager Aria Carley hinted in December that administrators should avoid using various group policies in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Carley posted a post on the Windows IT Pro blog yesterday explaining in more detail what policies shouldn’t be used, why administrators shouldn’t use them, and what they’ve been replaced by.

“We’ve listened to your feedback and learned a lot about which experiences work and which don’t. We’ve also worked to evolve and simplify the controls needed to support these improved experiences, and identify old policies that are no longer needed or replaced with a better option,” Carley explained in a new Windows IT Pro article.

“As a result, the Windows Update Policy Set contains policies that no longer have an impact; that don’t work as described on devices running Windows 10, version 20H2 or later; or that work but not as although policies that have been added to accomplish a similar experience in a much better way.”

This list is invaluable for Windows administrators to review their existing Group Policy configurations and replace outdated policies with newer variants that provide more control and expected behavior.

Carly also explained that Microsoft has made it easier to distinguish outdated policies that should no longer be used in Windows 11 with a new Legacy policies folder under Windows Update policies in the Group Policy Editor.

Legacy Policies Folder in Windows 11
Legacy Policies Folder in Windows 11

Administrators can find the full list of deprecated policies and suggested replacements in Microsoft’s article.

In addition to avoiding these policies, Microsoft also warned this week that administrators should decide whether they want to use Windows 10 or Windows 11 ADMX files on their Active Directory central store.

“So what if you have a mixed environment of both guest operating systems? Well, the thing is, you can only copy one set of ADMX files to your Active Directory central store. According to your future projects, you have to decide which models fit best,” explained Helmut Wagensonner, Customer Engineer at Microsoft.

“If you plan to stay on Windows 10 for a while, you should choose Windows 10 ADMX files. If you are ready to upgrade to Windows 11 and it will become your dominant OS version (or it is already the case), you need to copy the Windows 11 ADMX files to your Central Store.”

While administrators must select a set of OS-specific ADMX files for the central store, Wagensonner has provided a method that administrators can use to manage policies for other operating systems in their environment.



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Steven L. Nielsen