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How can I use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Group Policy Editor (GPE) snap-in to set which domain controller (DC) I connect to?

A. If you log on to a DC and edit a GPO, you might logically think you're editing a GPO on that local DC, but usually you'll actually be editing via the PDC Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) role holder. You can confirm this by looking at the root of GPE and the connected DC is shown in brackets, as the figure shows.

To modify how the GPO behaves and to select which DC is used, perform the following steps:

  1. Open GPE and select DC Options from the View menu.
  2. Select the required option (e.g., "The one used by the Active Directory Snap-ins") and click OK, as the figure shows.
  3. Close the GPE dialog box (and if you have open a container's properties on the Group Policy tab, close that as well). Now reopen the properties of a container, and select to edit the GPO, which should now use the DC that's being used by the snap-in that's opening the GPE snap-in rather than the PDC FSMO.

Remember the default of editing GPOs via the PDC FSMO is designed to avoid the possibility of conflicts during replication if policies are edited simultaneously on different DCs. Therefore only change this for a specific purpose.

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