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Windows 7: Group Policy Client Service

04 Dec 2010   #1

Windows Vista
Group Policy Client Service

What is it? How did it get activated? Do I need it? If not, how do I get rid of it? I have never heard of it before.

This is a single user computer. No Homegrouping.

Asus G72 Gamer's Notebook Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

Yes you need it, no you cannot get rid of it. Leave it alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #3

Windows Vista

Why did it just now appear? I've had Windows 7 on 2 computers for a year and have never seen it before. it never appeared in Vista either. Did I install something that activated it? Ealier this week Windows crashed and I restored it back to factory settings from an ISO Recovery Disk. Could this have activated it?

What does it do? When I start the computer it says preparing your desktop. I wasn't able to find anything about what it is for on the web.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Dwight, this service did not "just now appear". It has always been there is Windows 7, I guess you just did not pay attention to it before. Read this description of it. Notice the line "You cannot disable this service via services.msc, nor change its state by using a registry patch". Just leave it alone and do not worry about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I think I've got pretty much the same problem as the OP, but I'm not sure.

I want to enable "Automatically check for solutions" (in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Action Center\Problem Reporting Settings) but it's grayed out and therefore I can't change it. I recall that at one time in the recent past I could do that, but now I can't. The error message says "Some settings are controlled by Group Policy" and that they can't be changed unless done so by a system administrator. However, I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium on a single, non-networked PC and I thought I was told that there is no Group Policy editor in this version of Windows 7, and BTW I'm using an administrator account.

Can anyone tell me how I can enable "Automatically check for solutions" or why it's turned off? Thanks!

Frank D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2013   #6

Win 7 x64

alright, guys, --= Group Policy Client =--

What is it?
Group Policy Client service applies settings to your computer from a network administrator - a HUGE control tool! IT world ain't democracy, you know.
Frank D, this is what is keeping you from changing your settings!

Is it a potential trouble? - YES
Settings are applied from someone not known to you simply because they like to (and can) control PCs connected to their network. Say you take your laptop to work, ask the IT guy to connect it, come back home and find all kinds of stupid messages coming up and settings messed up, etc.

Can you get rid of it? - YES
First, run "regedit.exe", then find "HKLM \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ services \ gpsvc" - you need to be an administrator, of course.
Select "Permissions", go to "Advanced", "Owner" tab and change the owner to your account. Next, select "Administrators" and check the "Full Control" box.
Now you can turn the service off or disable it as usual.

Do you need it? - NO

Can you live without it? - SORT OF
Unfortunately, this is integrated far too deep into the wireball of windows security (others are no better, trust me - current trend is to blame). When you turn it off, you can control your settings and you can't be injected with admin imposed BS. However, if you disable it, you'll get a warning message at each startup that the service fails to connect - duh!

Now, LOGICEARTH and UNIFEX, if i wanna hear "don't worry about it and leave it alone", i'll ask microsoft - they are soooo good with this. You guys' answers are exactly so stereotypical of all IT personnel in any office - no wonder they are so often despised, rightly so!
A question was asked and an answer is expected - why do you impose your self-proclaimed expertise if DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER?? yes, the guts of it all may be all too intricate for average users, and yes, it may pose risks. But that WAS NOT PART OF THE QUESTION. software makers are bullies enough, and you're supposed to help the bullied!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

DuPengCheng, Group Policy would only affect your computer from a network location if you join the Domain. Only then would Group Policy take settings from a remote location. Joining a Domain requires Group Policy in the first place. So if you are using a work laptop and it is joined to a Domain then, yes, IT can control it. However, if your laptop is not joined to the Domain then no Group Policies will be controlled from the IT department.

Also, the question was answered over years ago. Ripping parts out that are vital to the system are not solutions we provide here. We keep machines working we do not give advice that WILL break them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
No longer a problem


First I want to thank you for your answer. I can't test it but I'm sure it's correct.

My problem, as described above, no longer exists for me because I had to do a full, clean install of Windows 7, and after doing that the problem disappeared. The history behind the problem was that I originally upgraded from WinXP and in doing so I inherited a lot of funky settings with it. The clean install has left my computer working beautifully.

I agree with your assessment of software makers, but in this case it turns out they were innocent.

Frank D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #9

Win 7 x64

You're welcome ;-)
I realize this discussion was 2 years old, a link elsewhere got me here, and I just felt VERY compelled to reply to this since I had the exact same problem as Frank D after an IT played with my laptop to connect it. It took me weeks to figure this out and there were, apparently still are (can't see them), no clear answers regarding Group Policy Client in any forum - a really nasty part of windows security.

IT support answers of the above type really P@#$ me off because people somehow assume users are stupid children and the ones enlightened keep the trade secrets to themselves - what's the point?

Logicearth, you're right, it all has to do with domain - that is, you are even aware you are joining a domain, this can be done by a click with an unattended or silent setup and admins won't tell you because they want you in. With service disabled they would at least need to inquire or I'd see their fiddling around at which point I'd declare my objection and request their login credentials written down for a clean and conscious connection whenever I need it, eg. saved in firefox.
Anyways, regardless previous circumstances, Frank D couldn't control his own PC because of this service running, so the answer "leave it alone" could be termed obstruction of justice
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #10

Win 7 x64

oh, to set the record straight, I'd never direct anyone to break their thing cuz I said so,
the service can be re-enabled again after changing the locked policies and all is as good as new - only now you know you OWN it and CAN turn it off. How hard is it to tell this secret?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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