When I download ADMX files to use on our Windows Server 2008 machine, do I store them under Sysvol on our domain controller which is a Windows Server 2003 machine or do I put them in the policydefinitions folder on the Windows 2008 Server?

I.e., do the admx files need to be centralized from our domain controller?

Thank you!

3 Answers 3


When I deployed a few ADMX files for Office 2007 I used this information below to store centrally:

Loading the ADMX templates If you use ADMX and ADML files on computers that run Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2, you can store them in one of the following locations:

If you want to manage multiple computers in your domain, create the central store in the Sysvol folder on the primary domain controller. This provides a replicated central storage location for domain Administrative Templates.

When you use a central store, GPMC reads the single set of Administrative Template files that are stored there when you edit, model, or report on a GPO. GPMC reads these files from over the network. Therefore,, you should always connect the GPMC to the closest domain controller. The central store consists of the following:

A root-level folder, which contains all language-neutral ADMX files. For example, create the root folder for the central store on your domain controller at this location:


Subfolders, which contain the language-specific ADML resource files. Create a subfolder of %systemroot%\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions for each language that you will use. For example, create a subfolder for United States English at this location:


For more information about how to store and use the Administrative Templates from a central store, see “Group Policy and Sysvol” in the Group Policy Planning and Deployment Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=182208).


To store locally on a machine that requires the policy you can do this:

If you want to manage a single computer, store them in the PolicyDefinitions folder on the local computer. This enables you to edit the local GPO.

ADMX files are stored in this location: %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions

ADML files are stored in this location: %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\<ll-cc>

where ll-cc represents the language identifier, such as en-us for English United States


The admx files do not need to be centralized. At least we don't where I work.

You only need them to create the gpo once they are exported to the DC, they are not needed to be applied.

ADMX should be place on a shared drive if you are not the only one manipulating them or if they are custom ADMX files.

But you can centralized them on your DC:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb530196.aspx Scenario 2: Editing Domain-Based GPOs with ADMX Files

  • 1
    You are correct ADMX files do not have to be centralized, but a central store is preferred
    – Jim B
    May 31, 2011 at 20:37

The location of the ADMX files only matter for the client system that you are using to create the policy.

So, there are two options; the central store in sysvol, and just keeping them locally on the system used to define the policy, which would often be the domain controller.

Gone are the days that the ADM files were copied into each GPO; either method will work just fine.

That said, when using custom templates, I'd highly recommend using the central store; you probably don't want to have to find or re-download the templates when you manage them from a different machine.

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