GPPreferences does a great job with delivering drive maps, shortcuts, printers and more.
But when it comes to managing applications themselves, the GPPrefs Registry extension doesn’t go far enough. Here’s a handful of problems if you try to use the GPPrefs Registry extension to manage applications:
- It cannot deliver settings to non-registry based applications (Java, Flash, Firefox, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Autocad ,FileZilla and more).
- It cannot deliver bit-specific changes to Reg_Binary values.
- It cannot deliver user-side configuration changes to everyone on collections of computers.
- Once a Group Policy Preferences value is set, there’s nothing maintaining that setting – so users can cheerfully work around your desired settings.
- When the Group Policy Preferences item no longer applies, it “Nukes” the setting.
For a video overview of the truth of what Group Policy Preferences can and cannot do, please watch this video.
Instead, when you use PolicyPak to manage your applications’ settings:
- Applications’ UIs are grayed or hidden to prevent changes (in about 80% of applications).
- Applications’ settings are auto-remediated when the application is launched by the end-user (even when the computer is offline).
- Applications’ settings can be locked down with ACL Lockdown (in about 80% of applications) so users literally cannot change the settings at all.