I have a policy that I created a few years back that modifies the users IE security settings as well as adding Trusted Sites to the trusted sites zone.

I can open the INF file in the SYSVOL share on the DC and see the particular area where the settings are kept:


the file is seczones.inf

My question is...can I modify this file directly or no? The only way to modify this setting is to do the whole "IMPORT SETTINGS" button in the GPMC from a client's IE to make these changes, but that seems like a pain to just add one more site to the trusted sites.

My other option was to simply create a vbscript to add the new site as a login script, but I'm curious if I can actually modify the INF file directly and have it take affect. Or would it screw it up?

If there's some other way to add trusted sites through a GPO without the site to zone assignment option I'm all ears...I just want to add a site not overwrite any current sites, etc.

2 Answers 2


You can edit it directly, but you need to make sure that you're 100% correct with your syntax, otherwise the GPO won't be processed by the clients. There is no validation when you do this, so it's strongly encouraged that you use the GPMC for this rather than notepad.

  • Doesn't the OP need to change the version number in the GPT.ini file for the GPO after editing the inf file in order for the GPO to be processed again during foreground or background refresh? It's always been my understanding that the CSE's don't "reapply" GPO settings if the GPO hasn't changed since the last refresh.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 14:24
  • @joeqwerty - yeah I figured I might need to do that as well. I actually decided against messing with it, since I was concerned that such a simple idea would reap disastrous consequences. I ended up with a regedit /s regkey.reg "startup script" instead.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 16:31

There are definitely times where the only way to get what you want a policy to do is directly editing policy files.

I had a group policy preference that needed to have a tab character embedded into a registry item. There is a bug in the UI that stops this from functioning in any fashion other than a direct edit.

The one caveat I've found is that after certain edits are made - I'm not sure if it will apply in this case - opening the policy in the GPMC can revert the custom changes.

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