Upgrading Windows 2000 Group Policy for Windows XP

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 307900 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q307900
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


Windows XP Professional supports a superset of the Group Policy features supported by Windows 2000. The new features are implemented through updated client-side extensions, administrative template (.adm) files, and an updated Group Policy snap-in.

This article describes how to upgrade a Windows 2000 Active Directory Group Policy object (GPO) to support the new features in Windows XP, and how to manage such objects.


If you upgrade an Active Directory GPO to support the new Windows XP policy settings, Windows 2000-based clients ignore any Windows XP-specific settings. This behavior occurs on a per-setting level. If a policy object contains a policy setting that is not supported, all other supported policy settings from that policy object are applied.

To upgrade a Windows 2000 GPO, follow these steps on a Windows XP-based domain member:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. In the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box, click Add.
  4. In the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box, click Group Policy, and then click Add.
  5. In the Select Group Policy Object dialog box, Local Computer appears as the target object. Click Browse, select the GPO that you want to upgrade, and then click OK.

    Note When you click Browse, a delay might occur while Windows searches for the policy objects in the domain.
  6. Click Close.
  7. Click OK.
You can now adjust the policy settings in this Policy object by using the Group Policy console from the Windows XP-based client.

Important After you apply Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4), the Group Policy security templates are restored to the Windows 2000 default security settings. Because of this change, you must repeat these seven steps after you apply Windows 2000 SP4.

The .adm files are automatically updated if all the following conditions are true:
  • The .adm file on the local computer has a newer timestamp than the one that is located in the \Adm folder on the domain controller.
  • The .adm files have different file sizes.
  • The “Turn off Automatic Update of ADM files is disabled" Group Policy is not enabled for the user.
For more information about a related topic, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316977 Group Policy Template Behavior in Windows Server 2003


  • The GPO is actually updated with the new .adm files when you click or expand Computer Configuration or User Configuration under the title of the Policy object. You can upgrade a single Policy object at a time by using this method.
  • The Windows XP Group Policy snap-in works only in Windows XP Professional.
  • The Windows XP Group Policy snap-in implements a new feature that displays the operating system version that is required by an administrative template policy setting in the side pane of the Extended view. The Windows 2000 Group Policy snap-in cannot display this version information, but can be used to modify the administrative template settings after being upgraded.
  • New Security settings are also supported in Windows XP. These settings are available by using the Windows XP Group Policy snap-in. These settings are not displayed by using the Windows 2000 Group Policy snap-in if they are configured or if they are not configured. Editing Security settings by using the Windows 2000 snap-in preserves the Windows XP-specific security settings.
We recommend that you edit upgraded GPOs from Windows XP-based clients. You can perform subsequent management of these GPOs, from the Windows 2000 Active Directory management tools, such as linking them to domains or to organizational units.


Article ID: 307900 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 6.1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
kbenv kbhowto KB307900

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com