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29 Sep 2022

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Windows Group Policy problems: Microsoft shares workarounds

The Windows Group Policy problems experienced by many users of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 hit the headlines again this week after Microsoft issued an emergency patch for the operating systems to fix a bug in the latest update that caused the software to stop working.

The company recently posted some workarounds to help solve common problems with the technology, which can be applied to end users and IT professionals who use group policies to configure their Windows machines.

From getting around slowdowns to making the technology compatible with multi-monitor setups, these workarounds should come in handy if you ever encounter common problems with Windows group policies.

The recent update might break how Group Policy Preferences (a way to automate IT configuration) behave on client devices.

When using Group Policy file operations, files or shortcuts will not copy to the target drives or end up as zero-byte files.

"File copies using Group Policy Preferences might fail or create empty shortcuts or files using 0 (zero) bytes. Known affected Group Policy Objects are related to files and shortcuts in User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings in Group Policy Editor," Microsoft explained.

Clients (from Windows 8.1 up to Windows 11 22H2) and server releases (from Windows Server 2008 SP2 to Windows Server 2022) are all affected.

Microsoft confirmed the bug following multiple Windows administration complaints on various social networks and in the Microsoft forums concerning an issue with Group Policy settings after they deployed September's patches.

Some platform admins suggested a radical fix that involves manually uninstalling and hiding the default cumulative updates. However, this change will remove all forms of fixes for recently patched security vulnerabilities.

Additionally, there are multiple suggestions from admins stating that uninstalling the "Users Security Context" on an affected GPO can help stabilize shortcut creation problems and file copying.

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