Configure Group Policy Settings and Preferences

This Configure Group Policy Settings and Preferences IT Pro Challenge Guided Hands-On Lab instructs the learner on configuring group policies and preferences for users and computers using the Group Policy Editor. Learners will understand how group policies are applied.

1 hour
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In the Configure Group Policy Settings and Preferences IT Pro Challenge lab, learners will gain a basic understanding of what a group policy is and how to use the Group Policy Editor to edit and configure group policies for users and computers, as well as set preferences for a GPO.

This lab gives learners a key skill in server administration, which is important for people interested in pursuing a career as a Cyber Operator, Information Systems Security Manager, or Network Operations Specialist.


For this virtual lab, you are the Windows Server Administrator for your company. As part of your job, you have to manage the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) environment, and you configure Group Policy settings using a Windows Server 2016 domain controller and a member server. You will learn how to configure the Default Domain Controllers Policy GPO, modify user settings, configure preferences, update the edited GPOs, and verify your work.

Group Policy (GP) is a Windows feature that allows the administrator to set the environment for both users and computers. It allows the administrator to control applications, user settings, and operating systems. A Group Policy Order (GPO) is a collection of different GP configurations.

Configure computer configuration policy settings in a GPO

To begin the lab, you are going to use the Group Policy Management Editor to edit the default domain controller policy GPO so that authenticated users can sign in to domain controllers. You will then use the gpupdate command to update the GP settings.

Configure User Configuration settings in a GPO

In the first step, you learned how to modify configuration policy settings, and now you’re going to learn how to use the Group Policy Management Editor to edit settings for a user group, meaning that you’re editing a policy that applies to all users in that group. You will disable a command or option in the GPO and verify your work by signing in as one of the users in that group and testing the command/option.

Configure Group Policy Preference settings in a GPO

Finally, you are going to learn how to configure group policy preference settings in the Group Policy Management Editor.

The difference between a policy and a preference is that policy settings are administratively enforced, and users are restricted from modifying the setting. Preferences, on the other hand, can be edited by the user. An example of a preference would be Drive Map and printers.

Summary Conclusion

By taking this lab, you will learn how to use the Group Policy editor to configure the following GPO settings:

  • GP computer configuration
  • GP user configuration
  • GP policy preferences

Not only will you learn how to configure and various settings, but you’ll learn how to test the settings that you apply.