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How To Backup and Restore Local Group Policy in Windows 11

The Microsoft Management Console’s (MMC) Local Group Policy Editor is a collection of policies used to configure and change Group Policy settings within Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Throughout a distributed system, system administrators in organizations are able to easily alter Group Policy settings for many users and devices.

A majority of businesses and individuals rely on Windows-based PCs to run their operations. Windows systems are frequently tailored to accommodate the demands of both the enterprise as well as individual users. Group Policy is one approach that may be used to distribute configuration information as it is kept in several locations. Many parts of Windows systems may be controlled using Group Policy, including what applications are installed, how directories are structured in Windows Explorer, and whether or not the user is authorized to modify system settings.

how to restore and backup group policy in windows 11

It appears that you frequently keep changing the settings of your computer while also maintaining it, which is presumably why you want to keep a group policy backup in Windows 11.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to Backup and Restore Group Policy in Windows 11:

NOTE: Windows 11 Home Edition doesn’t include the local group policy. Therefore, if you are currently running Windows 11 Home, it would be best not to waste your valuable time looking into this. Although, feel free to explore in order to enhance your knowledge.

Step 1: Open the “This PC” app or File Explorer.

Step 2: Navigate to the following file path:
This PC/Local Disk (C:)/Windows/System32/GroupPolicy.

navigate to group policy from the main local disk drive to group policy folder in windows 11
Group Policy Folder

Step 3: Copy all the folders and files – Machine, User Folder, and gpt.ini file.

copy the files and folders in group policy folder
Copy Files

Step 4: Choose the file path/location where you want to save Local Group Policy Backup. The group policy backup file will be saved to the chosen file location/destination.

backup group policy in windows 11
Backup Folder

Note: You can back up the file on another drive of your device or use external hardware such as a pen drive or hard drive and easily restore it in the future.

This method can be used to review your device’s current local policy settings collectively in .txt and .csv file format accessed using Text Document and MsExcel respectively.

Step 1: Search for “Edit Group Policy” in the Start Menu and press the enter key to run it.

local group policy app icon in windows 11
Group Policy App

Step 2: Click the Action button on the top menu and select the ‘Export List’ option from the dropdown menu. The “Export List” panel will appear in form of a popup.

click action button and choose export
‘Export List’ option

Step 3: Choose the desired file name and choose the location where you want to save Local Group Policy Backup.

choose file location or path along with file name
File Name and Path

Step 4: Choose the File Type from the dropdown menu. You can save Group Policy in four available file types/formats as follows:

  • Text (Tab Delimited) (*.txt) – Saving file in a text file format comprising of tabs that divide information with one record per line is called a tab-delimited text file.
  • Text (Comma Delimited) (*.csv) – A comma separated values file is a text file with values distinguished by using commas.
  • Unicode Text (Tab Delimited) (*.txt) – Saving file in Unicode File Format with values separated line by line.
  • Unicode Text (Comma Delimited) (*.csv) – Saving file in Unicode File Format with values separated by using Commas.

The ‘.txt files’ include the Text Documents, and ‘.csv files’ include Excel Spreadsheets.

choose file format to save group policy backup file
Desired File Format

Step 5: Once you choose the desired and compatible settings, click the “Save” button. The group policy backup in .txt and .csv file format will be saved to the chosen location and can be accessed using Text Document and MsExcel respectively.

saving the group policy backup file by pressing ok button
Save the Group Policy Backup

Note: If you need to recover the group policy in the future, then, follow the steps in Method 1.

Step 1: Copy the backed-up files from the Backup Folder.

Step 2: Paste the backed-up files to the following path/location on your device:
This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Windows > System32 > GroupPolicy and replace the existing folders.

Step 3: Restart your device to make changes take effect.

NOTE: The Group Policy folder is hidden by default. To enable it, firstly you need to enable hidden files on your computer.

Suggested Article: How To Show Hidden Files in Windows.

How do I copy group policy to another computer?

Copy the files from This PC/Local Disk (C:)/Windows/System32/GroupPolicy folder and transfer it into another computer in the same folder that is This PC/Local Disk (C:)/Windows/System32/GroupPolicy, using an external drive.

Next Steps

We’ve covered how to backup Group Policy in Windows 11 with the built-in Local Group Policy Editor.

A corrupted Local Group Policy can result in unexpected failures, functionality complications, and overall system instability. If you are facing usability issues continuously, then you should back up your files and try using System Recovery to the previous working state.

Further, customize your Windows built-in settings by referring to the related articles below.

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