I'm currently working on a customer server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2. They are in the process of upgrading their machines to Windows 8.

The problem they have is they don't want all the extra tiles on the metro screen, so I've exported a template of how they want it to look. The problem I am having at the minute is installing the windows 8 group policy settings on their server, so that I can set the start screen template for all domain machines.

How do I correctly install the Windows 8 policies on the system? I've got them downloaded as admx files from the MS website ready to go, but it's not as straight forward as I imagined.

I've installed the admx files in \FQDN\sysvol\FQDN\policies\policydefinitions but I can't view any of the group policy settings within gpedit.

The settings that I need to modify through the server are; Start Menu Template Set IE to open on desktop from tiles (if possible)

Thanks in advance,

Kealan Riding-Smith


Here are my notes, i believe you hit the common issue with the Central Store.

Installation of GPO files

  1. To put the new ADMX files into your Central Store, you need to create a folder like:


  2. Place the .admx files inside this folder.

The existence of the Policies folder is not an indicator of a previously existing Central Store. By creating the PolicyDefinitions you've basically created said Central Store.

When no Central Store exists, the group policy management console will display the group policy templates that are stored locally on the machine. These can be found in %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions.

Once a Central Store exists, group policy templates will be loaded exclusively from there, the local policy templates are ignored.

You can now either load them manually when editing a group policy object (Right-click Administrative Templates, Add/remove templates, select the .admx files from %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions), or simply populate your Central Store with the local templates:

Open a command window: click Start, click Run, then type cmd.

To copy all the language-neutral ADMX files to the central store on your domain controller using the xcopy command, type:

xcopy %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\* %logonserver%\sysvol\%userdnsdomain%\policies\PolicyDefinitions\

To copy all ADMX language resource files to the central store on your domain controller using the xcopy command, type:

xcopy %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\EN-US\* %logonserver%\sysvol\%userdnsdomain%\policies\PolicyDefinitions\EN-US\
  • I've loaded them into the central store, but don't seem to be able to see them still. From what I can see, when I'm looking in gpedit they're still the 2008 policies. – Kealan Riding-Smith Jul 2 '14 at 13:36
  • Using the commands at the bottom seems to have worked. Thanks! – Kealan Riding-Smith Jul 2 '14 at 13:57
  • Used to check similar issue on Windows 10, paths in commands are correct for domain use. – Fiasco Labs Jul 19 '16 at 18:41

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