Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does anyone know of a GPO comparison tool, preferably free (or cheap).

I need to compare settings from two GPOs to see what's missing in the target GPO.

edit: just to clarify, I need a tool which can compare the settings for me. I can do it manually, but it is cumbersome and also has the potential for me making mistakes.

share|improve this question
Although I started out with Greg Askew's approach. This ended up getting too tedious for more complex GPOs. Very recently, I found "GPO Compare" by "SDM Software" hope it helps someone else. – Nasir May 31 '11 at 14:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use Group Policy Management Console to save the GPO's as XML files, open them in Notepad++ and press Alt-D to compare the files.

share|improve this answer
Any variation on this will work. Basically, export the GPO's as XML and diff the files with your diff tool of choice. – Ryan Bolger Mar 28 '11 at 19:19

You can use two instances of the Group Policy Management Console and go to the "settings" tab while having the GPOs to compare selected. Click the "show all" to show all the applied settings.

share|improve this answer
that's the backup plan, but there has to be a better tool, something like BeyondCompare, but for GPOs. – Nasir Mar 28 '11 at 15:45
Are you creating an identical GPO? Is the target GPO going to reside in the same domain as the source? – HostBits Mar 28 '11 at 15:52
not creating new GPOs. Same domain, differen OUs. Basically, it seems like one of our regions neglected updating their GPOs for past few years and are running into issues (don't get me started on the architechure, was in place long before I got to it lol) – Nasir Mar 28 '11 at 15:54

Use the SCM v2 GPO import function to import the GPO's as baselines. You can then use the compare tool to show settings differences. V2 is in CTP right now but seems to work just fine so far. here is the link to the blog post and download

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.