In Microsoft Active Directory a Group Policy is a policy applied to many AD objects. Objects can be user accounts, servers, desktop devices, etc. Group Policies can be used to enforce updates and restrict workstations that are too out of date from accessing the domain until updates are applied.
Group Policy is a feature of the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows Server 2003+) that controls the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. Group Policy provides centralized management and configuration of operating systems, applications, and users' settings in an Active Directory environment. A set of Group Policy configurations is called a Group Policy Object (GPO). A version of Group Policy called Local Group Policy (LGPO or LocalGPO) allows Group Policy Object management without Active Directory on standalone computers.Active Directory servers disseminate group policies by listing them in their LDAP directory under objects of class groupPolicyContainer. These refer to fileserver paths (attribute gPCFileSysPath) that store the actual group policy objects, typically in an SMB share \\domain.com\SYSVOL shared by the Active Directory server. If a group policy has registry settings, the associated file share will have a file registry.pol with the registry settings that the client needs to apply.The Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) is not provided on Home versions of Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10/11.