I am in charge of locking down many public computers for a public library. Because Windows SteadyState is not supported in Windows 7, I use group policies. These policies affect all users, including the administrator account. I would like to place shortcuts on the administrator desktop to toggle certain policies. These are non-domain machines and are all running Windows 7 Professional. So far I have not been able to easily toggle specific policies. I would prefer to NOT have to open the gpedit.msc and locate each policy that I want to toggle. Instead, I would like to be able to click on a desktop shortcut to enable or disable certain policies. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.
There's no method to make automated changes to the settings within Group Policy. There's just no API there. There is a Group Policy API for PowerShell, but it it concerns itself with linking/unlinking GPOs, backup/restore, etc.
If you haven't you should look at multiple local group policy as a potential solution to your concerns for user policy settings. For computer policy settings, though, you're outta luck.
Group Policies really just modify the registry, so what you'll need to do is isolate what keys are being changed and make .reg files to override them. When Group Policy refreshed (45 minutes at the default value or the computer reboots), these will be overwritten again. This is not a great solution, for obvious reasons. Also, many policies only take effect on boot/logon/whatever, so this would not work for those.
There's really not a good way to exclude certain users from computer policies. That's the whole point of computer policies - they're not influenced by which user is active.