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PowerShell Tool – Backup Group Policy Objects (GPO) linked to Oranizational Units (OU)

PowerShell GPO Backup Tool

When editing Group Policy Objects you should always be aware of taking backups before changing anything. But from time to time you need to backup not just one GPO. This could be easyly managed by MS standard tools. Sometimes you need to backup all GPOs that are linked to a Organizational Unit. There is no GUI tool from Microsoft supporting this case, therefore I’ve built a small PowerShell script that will support you.

The script is easy to handle. Just start it and select the OU your policies are linked to. The script will start backup of your linked GPOs (recursively).

I’ve used the “Active Directory OU picker” from “MicaH’s IT blog” for easy OU selection.

 

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This is the first release. Be carefull when using it in productive environments.

Always test before using in production!


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Windows 10 – Modify Settings Page

Windows 10 1803 Settings Page

The “Windows Settings” will replace the “Control Panel” in future Windows releases. Until version 1703 there were no possibilities to modify the standard view of the “Windows Settings”. Since Windows 10 1703 it is possible to modify the Windows settings menu similar to control panel settings.

Group Policy Setting: Settings Page Visibility

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Windows 10 – Remove Windows Store Applications (appx)

Even if you start installing a Windows 10 Enterprise (SAC) operating system there is still a bunch of applications installed you really don’t need in an enterprise environment. There are two ways of getting rid of these. First thing you can do is to disable the “Microsoft Consumer Experiences” (Application Set) that are automatically installed during the system deployment. That is the easiest way to get rid of apps like “Candy Crush” or “Xing”.

To get rid of the rest of applications like “Weather” & “Xbox” there is only one way to do that. You need to build a PowerShell script that is executed during your OS deployment. Eventhough the removing commands for appx packages are supported by Microsoft some applications are still not removed from the user interface completelly. I recommend to run the script during the OS deployment to avoid these kind of problems. If you start removing appx packages after the first user login sometimes the app will be removed completelly but the icon will stay in the start menu as long as you delete the user profile.

1. Hide Applications by Group Policy Settings

  1. Open/Create a new group policy object in the “Group Policy Management Editor”
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Cloud Content
  3. Click on “Turn off Microsoft consumer experience
  4. Switch the status of the policy to enabled.

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Cloud Content

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