Can’t find the policy, object, or setting in your Group Policy Editor? Here’s a simple way to search Group Policy to find the setting or policy your so desperately looking for.
Group Policy is one of the best things in Windows. It allows Windows you to configure advanced settings and policies for your Windows computer. Whether you’re a system administrator looking to manage a network of computers or a power user wanting to tweak your personal computer, the Group Policy Editor can help you achieve your goals.
The thing is, there are so many policies, and finding the policy you want can be tricky. Unless you know the exact name of the policy you are looking for, it is hard to find a specific policy in the Group Policy Editor. This is especially true when you have no idea where to find the policy.
Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to filter, search, and find policies in the Group Policy Editor. In this quick guide, let me show you two ways to search Group Policy Editor for a specific policy on Windows.
Table of contents:
- How to Search Group Policy Editor
How to search Group Policy Editor
There are two ways to search for a specific policy or setting in Group Policy Editor. The first method involves using the built-in Group Policy Filter options. This approach allows you to filter policies based on specific criteria, such as the policy category, status, etc.
The second method is to use the official Group Policy Search web service, which provides a search function designed explicitly for locating policies in Group Policy Editor.
Both of these methods are effective in searching the Group Policy Editor for a specific policy or setting. So, choose the one that best suits your needs.
1. Use Built-in Filter to Search for a Specific Policy in Group Policy Editor
Though many don’t know, Group Policy Editor has a built-in Filter functionality that lets you search for any specific policy. The good thing about this method is that it gives you great control with different filter parameters.
- Press the Start key on your keyboard.
- Search and open “Edit Group Policy.”
- Right-click on a folder on the left panel.
- Select the “Filter Options” option.
- Select “Yes” from the Managed, Configured, and Commented dropdowns.
- Choose the “Enable keyword filters” checkbox.
- Type the search words in the blank field.
- Select the checkboxes Policy Settings Title, Help Text, and Comment.
- Click the “Ok” button.
- The Group Policy Editor will instantly show all the relevant policies on the right panel of the main window.
Steps with more details:
First, open Group Policy Editor by searching for “Edit group policy” in the start menu. You can also use the gpedit.msc command in the run dialog box (Windows key + R).
After opening the Group Policy Editor, you will see six folders on the left panel. Right-click on any folder and select “Filter options.”
The above action will open the Filter Options window. Here, choose “Yes” from the Managed, Configured, and Commented dropdown menus. Next, select the “Enable keywords filters” checkbox, and type a keyword or name of the policy in the blank field.
After that, select the Policy Setting Title, Help Text, and Comment checkboxes and click the “Ok” button.
As soon as you click the button, the filter function will find all the specific policies with the search term and lists them in the main window. If there are multiple policies with the same keyword, they are listed according to their subfolders.
That’s it. It is that simple to search for a specific policy in the Group Policy Editor using the built-in filter functionality.
Since the filter function has several options, I recommend you play with different filter parameters to narrow down the search. For instance, you can make the filter look only at the policy names. If you are searching for a recently configured policy, you can select Yes from the Configured drop-down menu and set others to No, etc.
2. Use GPSearch Service
In addition to the built-in filter option, there is a dedicated and official web service called GP Search. It has a search function that you can use to search and find any group policy setting.
First, head to the GPSearch website and type the keyword or policy name in the top search bar. In my case, I want to find a policy relating to Cortana. So, I typed the keyword or search term in the search bar and pressed the Enter button.
Depending on your query, it can take a couple of seconds to show the results. Your results will appear on the same page. Select the policy, and you will see all policy details and options on the right panel.
The best thing about GPSearch is that it even shows what registry keys are affected and how they are affected in the same right panel.
Keep in mind that using GPSearch, you can only find policies related to production-ready Windows versions. i.e., you cannot find Windows Insider only policies because they are not yet production or consumer-ready.
Searching Group Policy for a Specific Policy — Conclusion
As you see, when you need it, searching the Group Policy Editor to find a specific policy is nothing hard. You can either use the built-in filter options or the GP Search website. The built-in filter lets you quickly search for a policy by typing in a keyword or phrase and setting up different filter options, while the GP Search website offers a simple yet effective search feature to find the policy you want.
Whatever method you choose, searching Group Policy for a specific policy, setting, or object is pretty simple.
That is all. It is that simple to search Group Policy in Windows. Though I’ve shown this in Windows 10, the same steps can be followed in Windows 11, 8, and 7.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, email me, and I will try to help as much as possible.
If you like this article, check out how to back up Group Policy settings in Windows.