Group Policy makes it a lot easier to configure several settings in Windows. When you change a particular policy, depending on the computer configuration or user configuration, it is applied either to the computer regardless of users or to users regardless of what computer they are using.
However, there will be times when you want to apply certain policies, like drive restrictions, to non-administrators only. In those situations, you can create a custom snap-in. Follow the instructions below.
- Group Policy is only available for Windows Pro and Enterprise users. If you are using Windows Home edition, then this tutorial is not applicable to you.
- This tutorial follows Windows 10, but you can follow this same procedure in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Apply Group Policies to Non-Administrators Only
Since the regular group policy editor doesn’t allow us to apply policies to only non-administrators, we need to create our own local group policy snap-in using MMC (Microsoft Management Console).
1. To start, press Win + R, type “mmc” and click on the “OK” button to open the Microsoft Management Console. You can also search for MMC in the Start menu.
2. In the Microsoft Management Console window, go to “File” appearing on the top navigation bar, and select the “Add/Remove Snap-in” option.
3. The above action will open the Add or Remove Snap-ins window. Here, find the “Group Policy Object Editor” snap-in in the left panel, select it, and click on the “Add” button.
4. We now need to select all the non-administrator accounts. In the Group Policy wizard click on the “Browse” window.
5. Here, go to the “Users” tab, select Non-Administrators from the list of Local Users and Groups and click on the “OK” button.
6. In the wizard, click on the “Finish” button to save the changes.
7. You are done adding the snap-in with custom settings. We now need to save the snap-in so that we can use it whenever we want. To do that, go to “File” and select the “Save As” option.
8. Go to where you want to save the snap-in, name the snap-in, make sure the “Save as type: is set to “Microsoft Management Console Files (*.msc)” and click on the “Save” button. In the case shown below, we’re saving the MSC file in the root of the C drive.
9. From now on you can use the newly created snap-in to apply group policy settings to all users but the administrators. Just go to where you’ve stored the snap-in, and double-click on it.
10. This action will open the snap-in inside the MMC. Just like with the regular Group Policy Editor, find the policy and double-click on it to change the policy settings. For instance, we don’t want any non-administrators to access certain drives on the system, so “Hide these specified drives on My Computer” was changed accordingly.
You can follow the exact same steps to apply policy settings to a specific user. Rather than selecting a group, just select a particular user in step 5.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to apply group policy settings to specific users or groups.