5 Ways to Fix Group Policy When It Keeps Reverting

Policy changes are a necessity and here's how to make yours stick

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Author
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
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Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Group Policy can be a powerful tool for managing your Windows environment, but it may also be a bit of a pain when it comes to troubleshooting.
  • If your changes cannot be saved and keep reverting to previous settings, you could have a case of corrupt Group Policy settings on your hands.

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Have you encountered an issue where Group Policy keeps reverting? It turns out that this is a common issue. Group Policy settings in Windows are used to keep devices up to date and compliant with settings.

However, at times, Group Policy is stuck at applying or keeps reverting the changes you’ve made. This is no fun at all but let’s look at ways to make your changes long-lasting, shall we?

Why do Group Policy settings keep reverting?

If you have been working with Group Policy for a while, you may have noticed that every now and then it seems like the policies just don’t stick. After applying Group Policy changes, the next time you log in the policies have reverted back to their previous state. 

Wondering why this happens? Here are a few reasons:

  • Policies not applied correctly – The most common cause of this issue is that policies are not applied correctly. If you have a lot of domain controllers, there can be delays in applying the policies due to replication. This can result in the policies being applied on one domain controller, but not another. 
  • Incorrect permissions – To apply Group Policy, your user account must have permission to edit group policies on the target computer. If you don’t have permissions to perform this operation, then any changes made through group policies will be lost until they are applied again by an administrator account.
  • Conflict in GPOs – The Group Policy settings that you have created for your domain can be managed using a tool called the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). This tool allows you to manage the GPOs in your domain, as well as view their settings. If there is a conflict between two GPOs in your network, then GPMC will display an error message and revert the GPOs.
  • Corrupt user profile – If your user profile is corrupted then this can cause issues with group policies. In order for group policies to work properly, all users must have their profile configured correctly. If any of your users’ profiles are corrupt then group policies won’t be applied correctly and will need to be reverted back to their default state. 

So let’s look at how we can fix it.

How can I fix Group Policy when it keeps reverting?

Before you start troubleshooting Group Policy, it’s important to perform preliminary checks to ensure that the problem isn’t something else. To do this, follow these steps:

  • The first thing you should do is check the time on your computer. If it’s off by more than a few minutes, it can cause problems with Group Policy.
  • Ensure you are using an administrator account. For more insight, check out the difference between an administrator and a standard account.
  • Restart your PC.

1. Refresh policy settings

  1. Hit the Windows key, type cmd, and select Run as administrator.cmd-run-admin-w11 unexpected kernel mode trap windows 11
  2. Type in the following command and press Enter: GPupdate/force

2. Reset Group Policy Editor

  1. Hit the Windows key, type cmd, and select Run as administrator.cmd-run-admin-w11 unexpected kernel mode trap windows 11
  2. Type in the following commands and press Enter after each one: RD /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers" && RD /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy" gpupdate /force
  3. Restart your PC.

3. Restart Group Policy Service

  1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run command.
  2. Type in services.msc, then press Enter.
  3. Navigate to the Group Policy Client, right-click and select Properties.Group Policy Client Properties
  4. Select the General tab and change the Startup type to Automatic.
  5. Click on Start, then Apply.
  6. Hit OK to save the changes.

4. Use GPMC to troubleshoot

GPMC is a great tool for managing Group Policy in your network environment. If you have already installed it but aren’t using it regularly, spend some time learning how to use it properly — it will make managing Group Policy much easier.

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One such way is that it can gather information and help troubleshoot why Group Policy keeps reverting and other related issues.

5. Switch user profiles

If users are having problems logging on because of a corrupted registry key, switching their user profiles might fix the issue. This only works if the corruption is local to the computer or if the corruption is being replicated from another domain controller (DC).

Remember to set the account as an administrator account to grant it the necessary permissions required to make changes to Group Policy.

Sometimes Group Policy gets stuck because of faulty drivers or services that aren’t starting correctly when Windows starts up. 

Restarting in Safe Mode will allow them to start without any third-party services running and give you time to troubleshoot any issues with those services before they start up again normally.

You may also encounter an issue where Group Policy is slow in generating reports but we have covered how to boost speed in our detailed guide.

Also, check out what steps you should take if you find out that your version of Windows doesn’t have the Group Policy Editor.

Let us know whether you have been able to resolve this issue in the comments section below.

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