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If you need to make deep changes to Windows 10, you sometimes need to open Group Policy Editor, a tool that ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions only. Here’s how to find and open it.

What Is the Group Policy Editor?

Group Policy Editor is a utility that allows you to configure Group Policy settings for a Windows PC or a group of PCs. Aimed mostly at network administrators, Group Policy defines how you or a group of people can use your machines, restricting or allowing features as necessary.

The Windows 10 Local Group Policy Editor Window

Group Policy Editor is a Microsoft Management Console app with the filename gpedit.msc, and it’s usually located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

It’s important to note that Group Policy Editor is not available in Windows 10 Home. It only ships with Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise. If you’re not sure which edition of Windows you have, it’s easy to find out. Open Settings, navigate to System > About, and you’ll see it listed under “Edition.”

There are several ways to open Group Policy Editor in Windows 10, so we’ll cover a handful of major ways to do it below. Each one will get you to the same place, so pick whichever suits you best.

RELATED: What Is "Group Policy" in Windows?

Open the Group Policy Editor from the Start Menu

In Windows 10, open the start menu and type "gpedit," then hit Enter.

Perhaps the easiest way to open the Group Policy Editor is by using search in the Start menu. First, click the Start button, and when it pops up, type “gpedit” and hit Enter when you see “Edit Group Policy” in the list of results.

Tip: If you don’t see “Edit group policy” in the Start menu results, you either entered a typo or you’re running Windows 10 Home edition, which does not include the Group Policy Editor.

Open the Group Policy Editor from the “Run” Window

Press Windows+R, then type "gpedit.msc" and click "OK."

You can also quickly launch the Group Policy Editor with a Run command. Press Windows+R on your keyboard to open the “Run” window, type gpedit.msc, and then hit Enter or click “OK.”

Open the Group Policy Editor from the Command Prompt

At the Windows 10 command line, type "gpedit.msc" and hit Enter.

If you like working from the command line, open up a Windows Command Prompt and type “gpedit” or “gpedit.msc” on a blank line, and then hit Enter. The Group Policy Editor will open lickety-split.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Open the Command Prompt in Windows 10

Open the Group Policy Editor from Control Panel

In Control Panel, search for "group policy" then click "Edit Group Policy."

And finally, we have one of the slowest ways to open the Group Policy Editor: from Control Panel. To do so, launch Control Panel, and then click the search box in the upper-right corner of the window. Type “group policy,” and then click the “Edit Group Policy” link just below the “Administrative Tools” heading.

Don’t bother trying to browse for the “Edit Group Policy” option in the System > Administrative Tools section, because it isn’t listed unless you search for it. It just goes to show how powerful the editor is for Microsoft to hide it away like that, so use great care while changing the Group Policy on your machine. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Open the Control Panel on Windows 10

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Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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