Enable Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) on Windows 10 Home Edition

Occassionally I want / need to change a Windows setting that is not configurable via Control Panel or Settings. For example:

The instructions usually require using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). Unfortunately, I am using Microsoft Windows 10 Home Edition, and that does not come with Group Policy Editor. While these instructions sometimes come with an alternate method of accomplishing the task by editing the Registry, I would much prefer to use Group Policy Editor because:

  1. It is not always clear that the setting is to be configure using only a single Registry value. Relying upon unofficial advice for editing the Registry usually works out just fine, but there is still some risk and might result in unexpected behavior / consequences. If there is an option to make these changes risk-free via an official tool, then I would certainly choose that.

  2. Group Policy Editor has all (or most, or at the very least, many) options that can be configure, most of which I was unaware of until I looked through the list. Being able to find instructions across various blog posts for each of those options is one thing, but so many of those options I wouldn’t even have thought to look for. This is especially true for many of the features that need to be enabled since how would I know to look for them in the first place?

  3. Group Policy Editor has instructions for how each of the settings works. There is no guarantee that blog posts and articles will contain those details.

So, I went searching to see if it was even possible to get Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 Home Edition. I found several sites that claimed it was possible, but I had to download a zip file containing “something” that would enable it. While it might have been perfectly safe, I opted to not download any of those zip files because there was no explanation of what was in the zip file or why it had to be delivered that way. It seemed a little suspicious that they were claiming that Group Policy Editor was actually already there and simply needed to be enabled, but there was no indication of where it was or even a general sense of how it would be enabled. Finally, I came across a post by Andrew Wafer in which he shows both the location of the installation files and the command for how to install them. Great! The only problem is that there are some formatting issues, possibly due to migrating the post to a new platform or something. Also, while there is a screen shot of a command-prompt window, the syntax shown is incorrect.

Fortunately, there was enough information in that post that I was able to work out what the exact commands should be. And, it worked. Woo hoo!

Given how frustrating it was to find that information, and seeing how it would be fairly easy to automate, I decided to both share those commands below such that they can be simply copied and pasted into a command-prompt (running as Administrator), as well as create a CMD script that will handle it (including an overridable check to make sure that you are on Windows 10 Home Edition). In both cases the commands are fully visible so you can see what you will be executing; there is nothing hidden and nothing to download.

IMPORTANT: Whether running the two commands shown below, or the CMD script linked below them, you must run this in an “Administrator” command prompt! If you don’t, you will get an error instructing you to do just that (from the DISM command). Just right-click on the “Command Prompt” icon and select “Run as administrator”.

ALSO: Be sure to highlight / select down through line #8 in order to get the <return> after the final ).

FOR %F IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~*.mum") DO (
    DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%F"
)

FOR %F IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~*.mum") DO (
    DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%F"
)
 

Please be aware that the two commands shown above are meant to only be run directly in a command prompt window and not placed into a CMD script. The issue is that the syntax of the FOR command changes slightly when running in a CMD script (you need two % signs for the F variable instead of just one).

If you prefer running these commands within a script, I have put together a CMD script version of the commands shown above, including a verification that it is running on Windows 10 Home Edition. That script can be found on PasteBin at: Enable Group Policy Editor In Windows 10 Home Edition. Save the contents of that script a file named “EnableGroupPolicyEditorInWindows10HomeEdition.cmd“. Be sure to keep the “.cmd” extension instead of using the “.bat” extension. It does not matter what drive the script is on or what directory it is in: it just works.

10 thoughts on “Enable Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) on Windows 10 Home Edition”

  1. This blog entry is fantastic. No need to download sketchy installers off the internet. Just installs ClientTools and ClientExtensions from package files already on your computer using dism. NOTE: this procedure actually installed 4 packages:
    Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~…~amd64~~….mum
    Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~…~amd64~en-US~….mum
    Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~…~amd64~~….mum
    Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~…~amd64~en-US~….mum

    Not sure what the difference is between the en-US package and the regular package. Make sure you check your dism logs after in c:\windows\logs\dism\dism.txt

    Once it’s installed you should be able to launch group policy editor using gpedit.msc as normal

    Like

  2. I had no problems with installation, but when I tried to switch windows defender off, it could not do it as with regular Windows Pro gpedit. All settings for switching the defender off through gpedit are correct but there is no effect. Am I wrong something? Thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. Hello Nikolai. Sorry, I don’t really know that much about this OS stuff. I just know that what I shared works for me. I haven’t tried turning off Windows Defender, but I suppose it’s possible that there are internal, non-editable constraints placed on Windows Home that are not there in the Pro edition. Most of what Group Policy Editor does is make registry changes. It’s usually not magic, the man benefit is that the editor knows which registry entries to change. You might want to search on “registry edits to disable windows defender” or something like that since some Windows settings have been documented in various places and can be edited manually using RegEdit. Good luck!

      Like

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