How can I see the differences between two Group Policy Objects (GPOs)?

A. Desktop Standard provides a free add-on for the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) that adds several new features, including change control, local GPO management, offline editing, and, relevant to this FAQ, differencing. You can download the tool at After downloading it, execute the gpovault.msi and follow the onscreen instructions to install the tool. Once installed, start the GPMC (Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Group Policy Management) and perform these steps:

  1. Expand the Forest - Domains and the domain and select the "Change Control" leaf.
  2. In the details pane, select the Contents tab, which will display a list of GPOs. At this point, you probably need to select the "Uncontrolled" child tab to see your normal GPOs.
  3. Select the GPOs for which you want to see the differences (hold down the Ctrl key as you select each GPO), then right-click and select Differences - HTML Report. (You can also select to output to XML format as the figure shows.)
  4. A report will display the differences between the selected GPOs, as the figureshows.

You can run the differences option between only two files at a time.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.