This post may be something that most of the domain admins are already aware of, however I took a couple of hours to figure this for a customer.
Some organizations do not have the habit of importing all the ADMX and ADML files into their local store or central store. They choose the very specific ones that they need.
For instance, Windows 10 Creators Update (1703) templates has 201 ADMX and corresponding 201 ADML files.
- > The intended policy settings may not be visible in the editor even after importing the specific ones.
Let’ take an example of having to manage “Data Collection and Preview Builds” through GPO for Windows 10 machines. The below is from a Windows 10 machine’s Local Group Policy Editor.
For the purpose of this article, we will show you in local policy. Depending on whether you manage your templates as local store or central store, please take appropriate steps as required. The below is from a Windows 7 sp1 (which is equivalent to Server 2008 R2 sp1). As we see, there is no “Data Collection and Preview Builds” in here.
We can download the latest templates from here:
Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 Creators Update (1703)
Let’s continue to install this on our Windows 7 sp1 machine.
All the ADMX files will be in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update (v2)\PolicyDefinitions
Likewise, all the corresponding ADML files will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update (v2)\PolicyDefinitions\En-US
If you don’t want to copy all of them and need something very specific like in this example of “Data Collection and Preview Builds”, we will copy only the “DataCollection.ADMX” and “DataCollection.ADML” to PolicyDefinitions and PolicyDefinitions\En-US folder respectively.
However, when we open GPEDIT.MSC, it does not show up option in Local Computer Policy.
Time to get our hands dirty!!
First off, lets open the DataCollection.ADMX file in notepad for any clues.
As you see it has a ParentCategory reference to Windows admx (note the : symbol).
From a very basic interpretation perspective, I believe this category called “DataCollectionAndPreviewBuilds” has been defined inside Windows.ADMX.
So, let’s quickly open Windows.ADMX in notepad and search for "DataCollectionAndPreviewBuilds"
Now, we can relate that they are cross linked.
To cross verify, let’s open up the locally stored Windows.ADMX from C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions to see if that reference is there and obviously it's not there because this file was created before Windows 10 days.
So, we can now safely conclude that the GPO was not displaying it because reference is missing.
What is Windows.ADMX?
This file provides predefined categories and help text. So, there is nothing to worry about changing ownership and renaming of this file.
Let’s rename the existing C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\Windows.ADMX and C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\En-US\Windows.ADML
NOTE - We may have to take ownership of these two files first and then give necessary permissions before being able to rename them.
Copy the new windows.ADMX and windows.ADML from the installed location to PolicyDefinitions and En-US folder accordingly.
Let’s open gpedit.msc and see if that displays now?
Ajith Kumar Sukumaran
Technology Solutions Professional