The Windows Group Policy is a powerful tool in the arsenal of Windows administrators and also individual users who run professional editions of the operating system.
It can be used to configure policies that often provide better customization options than what the Windows Settings offer. Many features or settings are only available as policies or Registry keys, and third-party programs (Chrome for instance) may come with their own templates that you can add.
The Group Policy Editor comes without options to search for specific policies. While you can use filters as a substitute, it is anything but comfortable to use.
GPSearch is a Group Policy search engine by Microsoft. The search engine returns a list of policies that match the search term that you have entered.
Results are sorted by policy tree and name, and a click on any policy that is returned displays detailed information on the website. The search engine supports policy templates that ship with Windows but also policy templates for Microsoft Office
This includes the description, possible values, the operating systems or programs the policy is supported on, and also Registry information.
GPSearch offers two advantages over using filters in the Group Policy Editor when searching for policies:
You can use options at the top to change the default view modes. You may switch from the policy tree view mode to a Registry mode for instance to list all polices in a Registry tree instead.
There is also an option to filter settings, e.g. to display only machine or user policies, and to copy data in various ways.
One downside of the search engine is that it is kinda slow. You may notice delays when running searches regardless of browser that you are using to access the data. It may take a second or two before results are displayed, and that is the case for searches that you run but also when you navigate a tree.
Still, the information that GPSearch offers is quite useful, especially since it returns policies and Registry information (which the filter option of the Group Policy Editor does not).
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.