Windows 8 Gpedit.msc - Group Policy Editor
There is always something satisfying in controlling computer settings with group policies. The key to getting started is finding the gpedit.msc snap-in for your version of Windows 8.
Windows 8 Group Policy Review
If your Windows 8 machine is part of an Active Directory domain, then configure the settings via the GPMC on the domain controller. However, if your Windows 8 is in workgroup, HomeGroup, or in a stand-alone configuration then seek out the local group policy editor - gpedit.msc.
Group Policy Tactics
Mr Nasty's Reasons: to restrict users, for example, 'Prevent users from adding or removing toolbars'.
Mr Nice's Reasons: to pamper users, for example to adjust settings that confuse users, such as 'AutoPlay' where without a policy their machine would play the wrong media by default.
Mr Luddite: to configure the machine with old settings that were found in previous versions of Windows, but have been replaced, phased out, or deprecated in Windows 8.
If you can rule out a typo, and you remembered that .msc extension, then the most likely reason you cannot see Microsoft's Windows 8 gpedit.msc is that you have the Home Premium Edition. There has to be some benefit in paying the extra for the Windows 8 Ultimate, or Professional, and getting the Local Group Policy Editor is one of them.
If you cannot get a copy of gpedit.msc, one work-around would be to call for Regedit and change the setting in the registry.
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If media you insert into the computer is not behaving as you wish, then call for gpedit.msc.
Research: Turn off AutoPlay --> Enabled / Disabled.
More Group Policies Settings
To take effect many policies need "gpupdate /force", which saves a reboot. From within PowerShell, or from the command prompt issue the instruction thus:
User Policy update has completed successfully.
One use of Gpedit.msc is to link logon scripts to a Group Policy.
You could expand the Computer Configuration, but I prefer to go to the User Configuration, see screenshot:
Naturally, you select 'Logon' from the right pane. As ever, if you have an up-to-date operating system such as Windows 8, then configuring is easy. Select the PowerShell Scripts tab, then click on 'Add...' and now wire-up your PowerShell.ps1 file to the 'Scripts' policy.
Tip: The trick is to copy your logon.ps1 file (into memory) then paste into the location revealed by the 'Add...' button. See screenshot above.
The actual location C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\User\Scripts\Logon is a hidden folder. This is one reason the above interface provides a 'Show Files...' button. To see the files in Windows Explorer you may need to change the folder view options. See more about PowerShell Logon Scripts.
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Gpedit and UAC
If you visit the Computer Configuration section, and expand Windows Settings, Security Settings and Security Options, then you can examine the UAC policies. For example: User Account Control: Turn on Admin Approval Mode.
Summary of Windows 8 Gpedit.msc - Local Group Policy Editor
Microsoft produces a lovely utility called Local Group Policy Editor so that you can change registry settings conveniently. As with previous Windows operating systems you can inspect and adjust the settings with a snap-in called gpedit.msc.
If won't find gpedit.msc in Windows 8 Home Premium, this is because it does not exist; you need to upgrade to the Ultimate edition.
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Microsoft Windows 8 Group Policy Topics