HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Download and Use the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) in Windows...

How to Download and Use the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) in Windows 11 Home or Windows 10 Home

We show you how to install and open gpedit.msc (or something like it) on Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Home, by making use of third-party tool PolicyPlus.


If you’ve been following a tutorial only to receive the message “gpedit.msc not found”, it’s because there is no group policy editor on your Windows version. Microsoft instead reserved it for “Pro” variants of its OS. Today, though, we’re going to show you how to install and open the Group Policy editor on Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Home, and other editions. Well – at least a third-party version of it.
Let’s explain: while it is technically possible to get the original gpedit on Windows 11 Home / Windows 10 Home, it’s a complicated process that isn’t really worth it. Instead, the open source third-party tool PolicyPlus is simple to install and just plain better than the original. One of the significant advantages of using PolicyPlus is its ability to enable or disable a range of features and settings typically managed through the Group Policy Editor in Pro or Enterprise editions.
In fact, because of its significant improvements, we recommend installing PolicyPlus even on versions of Windows that come with the original gpedit installed. It will enable easier navigation, more technical information, and easier sharing of policy settings with others.

How to Install and Access the Group Policy Editor PolicyPlus on Windows 11 Home / Windows 10 Home

If your Windows 10 Home gpedit.msc is missing, it’s fastest to just replace it with PolicyPlus, which is a better alternative anyway. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Download and run PolicyPlus from its GitHub page
    Navigating to the PolicyPlus GitHub page, download the latest version by selecting the “PolicyPlus.exe” file. After the download is complete, choose “Open file” to initiate the program.If you’re on Windows 11 Home / Windows 10 Home, you may get a prompt asking you to download ADMX files. This will give you the full set of policy tweaks from Windows 11 Pro, so it’s recommended that you press “Yes”, and then “Begin”.
    Windows 11 - Type Url - Enter - Open File
  2. Search for your policy via keyword
    PolicyPlus organizes policies differently than the traditional Group Policy Editor, making it easier to find specific policies by keyword. To search for a policy, click the “Find” button in the toolbar and select “By Text“. You can also use the shortcut “Ctrl + F” on your keyboard. This step simplifies the process of locating the exact policy you need to modify.
    Windows 11 - Policy Plus - Find by Text
  3. Search a Specific Group Policy
    Type the name of the policy you’re looking for, check the “In title” box, and press “Search“.
    Windows 11 - Policy Plus - Find by Text - Configure Pop-up Blocker - In Title - Search
  4. Select your policy from the list and click “Go”
    From the search results, select the policy you want to edit and click “Go” to proceed to the policy settings. This allows you to enable or disable the policy as per your requirements.
    Windows 11 - Policy Plus - Find by Text - Configure Pop-up Blocker - In Title - Search - Select & Go
  5. Enable or disable your group policy on Windows 11 Home / Windows 10 Home
    Once you’ve made your policy change, just press “OK” to apply it. Due to the limitations of Windows 11 Home and Windows 10 Home, applying some changes may require you to restart or log off and on before they’ll take effect. 
    Windows 11 - Policy Plus - Find by Text - Configure Pop-up Blocker - In Title - Search - Select & Go - Edit Policy Setting

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About the Group Policy Editor PolicyPlus

Is PolicyPlus a suitable alternative for Windows Group Policy Editor in Windows Home editions?

Yes, PolicyPlus is specifically designed as an alternative to the Windows Group Policy Editor for users of Windows Home editions. It not only replicates the functionality offered by the traditional Group Policy Editor available in Pro and Enterprise editions but also introduces a more intuitive user interface, making policy management more accessible to those who might not be as technically inclined. Moreover, it extends the range of policies you can manage, thus empowering Home edition users with greater control over their systems.

Where can I find the official download for PolicyPlus?

The official and latest version of PolicyPlus can be downloaded from its GitHub repository. To ensure the safety and integrity of your download, it is important to visit the official GitHub page of PolicyPlus. Download links from unofficial sources may pose security risks, including malware or altered versions of the software that could harm your system. Always verify the URL and look for the most recent release section for the latest version.

What are ADMX files and why do I need them with PolicyPlus?

ADMX files are templates that offer a structured format for defining policy settings in Windows. They are crucial for PolicyPlus to access and modify the complete set of policy settings that are typically available in Windows Professional and Enterprise editions but missing in the Home editions. By downloading and incorporating these ADMX files, users can significantly expand the range of policies they can manage, enabling finer control over their Windows system’s behavior and security configurations.

Can I revert changes made by PolicyPlus if needed?

Yes, changes made with PolicyPlus can indeed be reverted. If you find that a recent policy modification has not produced the desired effect, or you wish to return to the original system settings, simply open PolicyPlus, navigate to the policy you changed, and reset its setting to “Not Configured” or revert to the previous state (Enabled or Disabled). Some changes might require a system restart or user re-login to fully apply the reverted settings.

Does using PolicyPlus affect my system’s security or integrity?

Using PolicyPlus in itself does not compromise your system’s security or integrity, given that it merely provides an interface for modifying group policies—which are built into Windows but not accessible in Home editions. However, caution is advised when modifying certain policies, especially those related to security and user permissions. Incorrect settings can potentially weaken your system’s security posture or affect its functionality. It’s recommended to fully understand the implications of a policy change or consult documentation before applying it.

How do I ensure that PolicyPlus is up to date?

To make sure that you are using the latest version of PolicyPlus, regularly visit the official GitHub repository and check for any new releases or updates issued by the developers. The GitHub page will also have release notes for each version, detailing new features, bug fixes, and improvements. Keeping your software up to date is crucial for ensuring compatibility with the latest Windows updates and for taking advantage of improvements to the PolicyPlus tool.

Can PolicyPlus be used to manage computer settings in a business environment?

While PolicyPlus was predominantly designed for individual users seeking to unlock the group policy management capabilities on Windows Home editions, it can be beneficial in small business environments where computers might be running Home editions due to budget constraints. PolicyPlus facilitates more advanced configurations typically expected in a business setting, such as security policies and user privileges. However, for larger environments or where precise policy management is crucial, upgrading to Windows Pro or Enterprise editions is advisable for native Group Policy support and other business-centric features.

After making changes with PolicyPlus, why hasn’t my system behavior changed?

If you do not observe the expected changes after modifying policies with PolicyPlus, it could be due to several reasons. Firstly, ensure you have correctly applied the policy alteration and verify that it’s saved within PolicyPlus. Secondly, many policy changes necessitate a system restart or user logoff/on to be effectively applied. If the system still doesn’t reflect the changes, it’s possible the policy itself requires additional configurations or is being overridden by another setting. Review the policy’s documentation for any prerequisites or conflicts.

Can I use PolicyPlus on Windows Pro or Enterprise editions?

Yes, PolicyPlus is fully functional on Windows Pro and Enterprise editions. While these editions already include the built-in Group Policy Editor, users might prefer PolicyPlus for its ease of use, ability to manage additional policies through downloaded ADMX files, and a more intuitive search function for locating specific policies. Therefore, it can be a valuable tool even for users of higher-tier Windows editions who seek an alternative interface for policy management.

How can I search for policies more effectively in PolicyPlus?

PolicyPlus offers an enhanced search functionality that goes beyond the capabilities of the standard Group Policy Editor. For more effective searching, you can use keyword-based searches that check either the title or description of policies. This comprehensive search feature allows you to find policies more intuitively, even if you’re not exactly sure of a policy’s name. For broader searches, using general terms can yield a wider range of policies related to a particular area of interest, while specific phrases or policy names can help narrow down the results to exactly what you’re looking for.

What should I do if I encounter errors while using PolicyPlus?

If you encounter errors or issues with PolicyPlus, the first step is to ensure that you have the latest version installed, as newer releases may contain fixes for known issues. If problems persist, consult the ‘Issues’ section of the PolicyPlus GitHub page, where you can search for similar problems reported by other users or post a new issue detailing your specific error for community or developer assistance. Additionally, reviewing the documentation or seeking help in specialized forums may provide solutions or workarounds.

Will using PolicyPlus to modify group policies void my warranty?

Modifying group policies using PolicyPlus is unlikely to void your Windows warranty. However, certain modifications can result in configurations that are unsupported by Microsoft, especially if they lead to system instability or security vulnerabilities. It’s essential to proceed cautiously and consider the potential implications of enabling or disabling specific policies. For critical systems or enterprise environments, consulting IT professionals or adhering to organizational policy standards is recommended.

Can PolicyPlus disable features that are otherwise locked in Windows Home editions?

Yes, one of the significant advantages of using PolicyPlus is its ability to enable or disable a range of features and settings typically managed through the Group Policy Editor in Pro or Enterprise editions. This capability includes various system, security, and user interface features that are not directly accessible or modifiable in Home editions. PolicyPlus effectively bridges this gap, providing Home users with a level of control previously reserved for higher-tier Windows editions.

Is technical knowledge required to use PolicyPlus effectively?

While PolicyPlus is designed to make policy management more accessible, a basic understanding of Windows operating system and the purpose of group policies is beneficial. Some policies can significantly affect system performance, security, and usability. Thus, users should either have a foundational knowledge of system administration or consult detailed documentation when unsure about the effects of modifying specific policies. PolicyPlus provides descriptions and guidance for many policies, but sound judgment and occasional research are advised for less experienced users.

Where can I get help with PolicyPlus if I’m stuck?

If you require assistance with using PolicyPlus, the ‘Issues‘ section of its GitHub repository is a good starting point, allowing you to seek help from the developer and user community. Additionally, consulting the readme file and any associated documentation provided on the GitHub page can offer clarity and guidance. For more specialized help, technology forums and communities such as Reddit’s tech support groups or Microsoft’s own community forums might provide insights and troubleshooting advice from a wider audience experienced in Windows management and PolicyPlus usage.

Related: How to Reset All Local Group Policy Settings

Generally, there are two methods to reset Windows 10 group policies. One involves manually changing each via the usual editor, and the other lets you reset every group policy in one go. In our other guide, we show you how to reset Local Group Policy Settings via both the Local Group Policy Editor and the command line. This is also an easy way to fix group policy by removing any previously made changes.

Related: How to Enable Fast User Switching via Group Policy

Now that you know how to get Gpedit on Windows 11 Home / Windows 10 Home, you can start making policy adjustments. We have various guides that use the group policy editor, but one of the most useful is this one on how to enable fast user switching.
Windows 10 How to Enable or Disable Fast User Switching

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.
Table of Contents: