I can use Group Policy Preferences for that!

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.