How to Customize and Lock Down Windows 10 with Group Policies

Group Policy is a feature in the Windows operating system that provides centralized management and configuration of computers and remote users in an Active Directory environment. It allows administrators to implement specific configurations for users and computers, enabling a consistent and secure environment.

Benefits of Using Group Policies

Implementing Group Policies offers several advantages:

  • Consistency across systems: Ensure all computers adhere to organizational requirements.
  • Enhanced security: Limit exposure by controlling user actions and system configurations.
  • Efficiency: Reduce manual configuration tasks, saving time for administrators.

Understanding Key Terms

  • Group Policy Object (GPO): A collection of settings that define what a system will look like and how it will behave for a defined group of users.
  • Group Policy Editor: A Windows tool used to configure and modify Group Policy settings.
  • Organizational Unit (OU): Containers in which various Active Directory objects, like users or computers, reside.

Customizing Windows 10 with Group Policies

Accessing and modifying Group Policy settings can greatly enhance the user experience and system performance. Below are steps to access and utilize Group Policy Editor.

  1. Press 'Win + R' keys to open the Run dialog box. Type "gpedit.msc" and press Enter.
  2. In the Group Policy Editor, explore the tree structure under Computer Configuration and User Configuration to find specific settings.
  3. Select and modify desired settings. Each setting will have a description to assist with configuration.
  4. Once settings have been configured, close the Group Policy Editor.
  5. Implement the changes by either rebooting the system or using the command below in the Command Prompt:

    gpupdate /force

Locking Down Windows 10

Security is paramount, and Group Policies provide measures to lock down the system. Here are some policies to enhance Windows 10 security:

  • Control Panel: Restrict access to specific applets within the Control Panel.
  • Software Restrictions: Specify which applications users can run on their systems.
  • Windows Components: Lock down specific Windows features such as Windows Store or OneDrive.


Group Policies in Windows 10 offer powerful tools for administrators to customize and secure systems. By understanding and implementing these policies, one can ensure a safe and consistent computing environment.