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I've noticed that GPO edits sometimes require 0, 1, 2 and even 3 restarts. In all of these cases I made the policy change in the LAN domain controller and then forced replication to all servers. However, after running gpupdate /force and or gpupdate /sync on client machines with psexec, rebooting, and logging in, the changes were not applied. So, I would have to restart the machine again, and typically then the policy would be applied. I have noticed that changes in Computer Settings sometimes require as many as 3 restarts (once). It cannot be chalked up to replication issues, so what is the problem? Are there any rules of thumb for the number of restarts required with GPO edits? Is there any GPO change that can be updated using gpupdate without restart or logoff?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are a number of GPO settings that can be applied without a logoff or reboot. In fact, most GPO settings can be applied without a logoff or reboot. Some settings that do require a logoff or reboot include, but are not limited to:

Startup scripts

Logon scripts

Folder Redirection

Software Installation

Why it sometimes takes multiple logoff/reboot sequences to get the aforementioned settings to apply is generally related to the asynchronous manner of GPO processing. You can force synchronous GPO processing by means of... a GP setting!

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Is enabling synchronous policy refresh ok with a multi-site setup if every site has a DC? – tacos_tacos_tacos Aug 13 '12 at 17:32
@jshin47 Yes, it is ok – KAPes Aug 13 '12 at 20:35

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