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I have downloaded a .reg file with some registry keys I'd like to apply on a Windows machine. Since the same key need to be applied, I'd like to do it directly with GPO policies.

I found several guides, however no one explicitly states a way to push directly a .reg file content.

Could you please explain me a clean way to do it?

2 Answers 2

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REMARK: Instructions are based on assumption that the registry values are not different for 64-bit and 32-bit Windows and that there are not any variables inside reg values.

  1. Open the REG file (in Notepad) and see if the REG file is for current user (HKCU ; HKEY_CURRENT_USER) or ...
  2. Document all the keys and values.
  3. Import REG file on some PC.
  4. Create a new GPO on the DC and Edit
  5. If the reg keys
    • are under HKCU go to: User Configuration \ Preferences \ Windows Settings \ Registry
    • are NOT under HKCU go to: Computer Configuration \ Preferences \ Windows Settings \ Registry
  6. Right-click on the "Registry"
  7. Select option "New Registry Wizard"
  8. Select option "Another Computer" and input the name of the PC where you have imported REG file
  9. Select all the Values you have documented in step "2."
  10. Finish the Wizard
  11. If the reg keys
    • are under HKCU: Link this policy to OU where you have your Users
    • are NOT under HKCU: Link this policy to OU where you have your Domain Computers

REMARK: If you need to apply this only to certain Domain Users or Domain Computers please ask the question about using "GPO Security Filtering". If you need to apply this only to certain Domain Users when they are connected only to certain Domain Computers please ask the question about using "GPO Security Filtering" and "GPO Preferences Item-Level Targeting".

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Another option that I did was to edit the .reg file in notepad and add -Z or the number 1 to the path at the appropriate level - then import it to my PC so it wouldn't change any actual settings. Then I did the browse option and found it locally. After it imported I went in to the settings and removed the extra character from the path. Worked great.

For example...

Original Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\htmlfile\shell\open\command

New Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\htmlfile1\shell\open\command

This would create a folder at the "htmlfile" level in the registry called "htmlfile1" and could just be imported and edited in the Group Policy Editor.

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