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Windows Server 2008 : Group Policy Command-Line Tools - Refreshing Group Policy Settings with gpupdate

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1/7/2014 8:02:59 PM

Group Policy settings are applied at different times for computers within a domain, as shown in the following table.

Automatic Group Policy Update IntervalsComments
When the computer starts.Group Policy settings for computers are applied when the computer starts. The logon screen appears after the settings are applied.
When the user logs on.Group Policy settings for users are applied when the user logs on. The desktop appears after the settings are applied.
At a random time every 90 to 120 minutes.After being initially applied, Group Policy settings are queried from Active Directory every 90 minutes with a random offset of 30 minutes. If there are any changes, the changes are applied.

Note

These are default times for all computers except domain controllers. Settings are reapplied to domain controllers every five minutes by default.

Every 16 hours for security settingsComputers query Active Directory every 16 hours to retrieve security settings. These are reapplied whether they have been changed or not.

You can reapply Group Policy settings to a computer using the gpupdate command. The syntax is

gpupdate [switches]

Figure 1 and the following command show the common usage of gpupdate:

gpupdate /force

Figure 1. Executing the gpupdate /force command

gpupdate SwitchesComments
gpupdate
C:\>gpupdate

This queries Active Directory for any changes in Group Policy settings and reapplies any changed settings.

Note

Although documentation indicates this is the way it works, it is inconsistent. To ensure changes are applied, you should use the gpupdate /force command.

gpupdate /force
C:\>gpupdate /force

This queries Active Directory and reapplies all policy settings, even settings that haven’t changed.
gpupdate /force /target
computer | user
C:\>gpupdate /force
/target computer
C:\>gpupdate /force
/target user

You can specify either computer or user Group Policy settings with the /target switch. With the /target computer switch, only computer Group Policy settings are reapplied. With the /target user switch, only user Group Policy settings are reapplied.
gpupdate /force /target
computer | user
C:\>gpupdate /force
/logoff

Some Group Policy settings, such as software installations, are not applied unless the user logs off and back on. The /logoff switch forces a logoff if it is necessary to apply the settings.
gpupdate /force /target
computer | user
C:\>gpupdate /force
/boot

Some Group Policy settings are not applied unless the computer shuts down and restarts. The /boot switch forces a reboot if a reboot is necessary to apply the settings.

 
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