How to Apply Group Policy to Non-Administrators Only in Windows

To apply local group policy settings to non-administrators only, you need to create a new Group Policy Object using MMC. Here’s how to do it.

If you using Windows Pro or Enterprise version, Local Group Policy Editor is one of the best tools to modify Windows settings. Group Policy Editor makes it quite easy to configure a lot of advanced settings. If need be, you can each search for any policy in Local Group Policy Editor with built-in filters. Once you found the policy, all you have to do is open the target policy, enable it and configure if necessary. Compare that to the clunky registry editor where you have to manually create new keys and values and you will know how awesome the tool is.

Any time you configure a policy, depending on the policy, the target policy will be applicable to all users on the system. When I say all users that include the administrators too. However, there will be times when you want to apply specific policies to non-administrators only. For example, maybe you want to hide specific control panel items from regular users.

In those cases, you can create your own Local Group Policies for non-administrators using Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Let me show you how.

Note: To follow the below procedure, you need administrative rights.

Apply Local Policy Settings to Non-administrators Only

As I said before, we are going to use Microsoft Management Control to create a new snap-in for the non-administrator group policy. Though sounds complicated it is pretty easy to do.

1. First, open the start menu, search for “MMC” and click on the result to open the Microsoft Management Control.

Non-administrator-group-policy-windows-open-mmc

2. In the MMC window, select the “File → Add/Remove snap-in” option.

Non-administrator-group-policy-windows-select-add-remove-snap-in

3. Now, select “Group Policy Object” on the left panel and click on the “Add” button.

Non-administrator-group-policy-windows-select-group-policy-object-option

4. The above action will open the Group Policy Object wizard that lets us configure it for non-administrators. Click on the “Browse” button.

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5. In the Browse window, go to the “Users” tab, select the “Non-administrators” option and click on the “Ok” button.

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6. Click on the “Finish” button in the main wizard window.

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7. Click on the “Ok” button in the Add/Remove Snap-in window.

Non-administrator-group-policy-windows-confirm-snap-in

8. You can now see the newly created snap-in the main MMC window.

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9. We’ve only created the snap-in. We still need to save it so that you can access it easily from wherever you want. To do that, select “File → Save as”.

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10. Select a destination, name the file anything you want and click on the “Save” button.

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11. That is it. From now, on you can open the Non-administrator Group Policy by double-clicking on the MMC file icon located in the destination you chose earlier.

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12. As you can see from the below image, it looks very similar to the regular Group Policy Editor albeit restricted to non-admin users.

Non-administrator-group-policy-windows-in-action

From now on, whenever you want to set a policy for non-admins only, use the snap-in Group Policy Object we just created.

Wrapping Up

Following the same method, you can create custom Group Policy Objects for specific users or other user groups. If you ever want to remove a specific snap-in, follow the first two steps, select the snap-in and then click on the “Remove” button.

That is all. Hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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