The Group Policy Editor can be used to manage and modify the Group Policy Settings on Windows. However, the management console is unavailable for the Home edition of Windows 11 – a consistent trend in the previous versions. Most users forcefully upgrade to the Pro or Enterprise edition of Windows just to access the Group Policy Editor.
But, what if we told you there are a few workarounds to enable/install the Group Policy Editor on the Windows 11 Home edition and negate the need for an upgrade? Also, if you are unable to install the Group Policy Editor due to some reason on Windows 11, there are a bunch of third-party apps available out there to help out. In the following sections, we list the ways for both.
Why Do You Need Group Policy Editor?
If you haven’t heard of the Group Policy Editor, you probably don’t feel the need for it and things are going just fine. But, Group Policy Editor does have its star moments. It comes in handy, many times, especially for network administrators.
Users can utilize the Group Policy Editor to configure access and restrictions to certain programs, apps, or websites. Another reason Group Policy Editor is a useful tool? It can be used to configure Group Policies on both local computers and networks.
You don’t likely need to download the Group Policy Editor if your computer is a standalone device and is not connected to any network. But, there’s no harm in having an untouched and unused Group Policy Editor. It’s comparatively a better option than critically needing the Editor, and not having it at your immediate disposal.
Verify if your PC already has the Group Policy Editor
If this is your first time around Group Policy Editor, we recommend verifying whether your PC has already installed the Group Policy Editor.
To run the verification, hold WINDOWS + R to launch the Run command. Enter ‘gpedit.msc’ in the text field. Click ‘OK’, or press ENTER to launch the management console.
The following error is a sign the Group Policy Editor is mostly not installed on your system.
Once you’re certain of the Group Policy Editor’s absence on your PC, it’s time to install it.
Install Group Policy Editor from a Batch File
A batch file executes a series of commands by the command line interpreter. It’s basically a text file with a bunch of commands that need to fulfill execution. It derives the name ‘Batch File’ from the idea that it batches or bundles various commands – which would otherwise need separate execution. Batch files have a ‘.bat’ extension.
Here’s how you can create a batch file to install Group Policy Editor on Windows 11.
First, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu. Type ‘Notepad’ in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result to launch the Notepad.
Next, copy and paste the following set of commands in the text file.
@echo off >nul 2>&1 "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\cacls.exe" "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config\system" REM --> If error flag set, we do not have admin. if '%errorlevel%' NEQ '0' ( echo Requesting administrative privileges... goto UACPrompt ) else ( goto gotAdmin ) :UACPrompt echo Set UAC = CreateObject^("Shell.Application"^) > "%temp%\getadmin.vbs" echo UAC.ShellExecute "%~s0", "", "", "runas", 1 >> "%temp%\getadmin.vbs" "%temp%\getadmin.vbs" exit /B :gotAdmin if exist "%temp%\getadmin.vbs" ( del "%temp%\getadmin.vbs" ) pushd "%CD%" CD /D "%~dp0" pushd "%~dp0" dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~3*.mum >List.txt dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~3*.mum >>List.txt for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . List.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i" pause
Then, click the ‘File’ menu at the top-left corner of the Notepad.
Select ‘Save’ from the list of options to save the file. You can also press CTRL + S to save it.
In the ‘Save as’ windows that appears, navigate to the Desktop. Enter ‘Group Policy Editor Installer.bat’ in the ‘File name’ section and click on ‘Save’ at the bottom.
After saving the file, open the desktop screen. Right-click on the saved ‘Group Policy Editor Installer.bat’ file, and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu. Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that appears.
This will launch the Command Prompt. Here, you can monitor the progress of the installation. Once the installation process is complete, it will read ‘The operation completed successfully’ at the end. That’s when you can close the window.
Once done, restart the computer for recent changes to come into effect.
You can now open the Group Policy Editor from the Run command as discussed earlier, without Windows throwing in any errors.
Download Policy Plus – An Alternative for Group Policy Editor
If the previous method didn’t work, or if the Group Policy Editor interface was not personally user-friendly, there are a bunch of different third-party apps capable of the same job. We recommend using Policy Plus; a free and open-source application.
To download Policy Plus, go to github.com/Fleex255/PolicyPlus. Scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Download the latest build’ under the ‘Download’ section.
Next, navigate to the folder where the downloaded file is saved, and double-click on it.
The ‘Windows protected your PC’ window will pop, stating the risk of running the app. Click on ‘More info’ under the alert to proceed.
Next, click on ‘Run anyway’ to launch the app. Also, click ‘Yes’ on the UAC prompt that appears next.
The ‘Policy Plus’ console will now launch. It is similar to ‘Group Policy Editor’ in terms of the interface, but there’s a visibly better organization on the left navigation panel. This makes it a tad bit easier to work on it. Familiarizing with the console and understanding the location of each policy will take Policy Plus an hour or two.
With these two methods, you can easily install and access the Group Policy Editor or Group Policies on your Windows 11 Home edition. So, the next time someone asks you to switch to Pro or Enterprise edition just to access the Group Policy Editor, send them this article.