How-To Geek

Add Group Policy Editor to Control Panel

If you find yourself using the Group Policy Editor all the time, you might have wondered why it doesn’t show up in the Control Panel along with all the other tools. After many hours of registry hacking, I’ve come up with a registry tweak to let you do just that.

You can’t manually make the registry tweak yourself using regedit.exe because there’s no way to add a default item of type REG_EXPAND_SZ, but I’ve provided a registry hack download for you.

Please note that this does not work with the Home editions of either Vista or XP because they don’t come with Group Policy Editor.

Windows Vista

After installation, you will find the new item by first choosing Additional Options in Control Panel.


You should now see Group Policy Editor in the list.


Windows XP

You will have to switch to the Classic View in order to see the icon in XP.


And now it will show up in the list of icons.



Just download and extract and double-click on AddGroupPolicyToControlPanel.reg to add the icon. There is also another registry script that will remove the items.

Download AddGroupPolicyToControlPanel Registry Hack

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/16/07

Comments (11)

  1. Jason

    Just found this site, and so far I’m enjoying it. :) Keep up the good work.

    But as for this hack, I’m running XP Pro w/SP2 and you most definitely can add a Reg_expand_sz value. Right click->new and it’s the last option (Expandable String Value)


  2. Shivu

    searching the google for a while, I found this site. I am using windows vista home premium.

    this did not work?

  3. ujangje

    Hii Shivu,for your info,your Home Premium doesnt support “Group Policy”.u need Vista Business Or Ultimate to do this.. Thx

  4. Ron

    ujangje, how come when I open up services.msc in a command window, I see Group Policy Client running and set to automatic? If my Vista Home Premium does not include this, then why is it included? I am unable to stop the service, seeing as how I don’t need it, seeing as how I don’t have it.

  5. EdwardATeller

    I’m trying to run a user mode printer driver under Vista Premium. I have to edit a group policy that does not allow NT4.0 drivers to run. All the answer simply say to use the group policy editor. That’s great if you have Vista Ultimate or Business, but it is of no help to us Premium users. It would be great if someone could tell me how to edit the registry to remove this prohibition on using NT 4.0 drivers in Vista.

  6. Ron

    Here is a spreadsheet from Microsoft explaining and giving the registry entry to be modified for all of Vista’s GPS. It is in .xls format, so either Word or OpenOffice shall suit your needs to read and follow it.

  7. Johnny

    why not working with vista, i like it..

  8. Larry Miller

    There is a reason that there is no default shortcut to the Group Policy Editor. That is to keep curious and inexperienced users from doing serious harm to their systems. Group Policy is a very powerful tool in the hands of an expert. In the hands of the inexperienced it can be dangerous.

    Know what you are doing before making changes. Many settings have widespread implications that ane not fully explained.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

  9. folio

    Thank you for this great Group Policy Editor tutorial. Awesome!

  10. Justin Semmel

    Some Vista Home Premium users are Network Administration students, needing to learn and work with GPOs. It would be great for these tools, which I read were once available in the initial Vista release, were more easily accessible.

    Justin Semmel

  11. Nuke Skywalker

    Thank you for your work, but it’s going much more easier to get a faster access to that tool, when you just create a link (right click => “create shortcut”) and just write “gpedit.msc” into the command line field, then click next and enter “Group Policy Editor” as shortcut title.
    Then open “System Control”=>”Maintenance”(where you can also find “Services”) and just move the “Group Policy Editor” shortcut into the “Maintenance” window… that’s it! ;-)

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