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.

  • 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" sdmsoftware.com/group_policy_compare.php hope it helps someone else. – Nasir May 31 '11 at 14:05

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.

  • 1
    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.

  • 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

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