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How to apply Windows 10 Local Group Policy settings to specific users

User-specific Group Policy Editor on Windows 10
User-specific Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 10, the Local Group Policy Editor is a useful console that provides system administrators and tech-savvy users a central hub to customize advanced system settings, which otherwise wouldn't be possible using the Settings app or the legacy Control Panel.

The only caveat using this Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in is that any policy you change will affect every user configured on the device since the built-in editor does not include an option to apply changes only for specific users.

However, if you share a Windows 10 computer with other users, it's possible to create a User-Specific Local Group Policy (LGPO) snap-in (which you can save as a file) that will allow you to apply Group Policy settings to a specific user or group of users without changing your account experience.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change advanced system settings for a specific user or group.

How to apply Group Policy settings to a specific user on Windows 10

To configure advanced settings for specific users on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for MMC and click the top result to open the Microsoft Management Console.
  3. Click the File menu.
  4. Select the Add/Remove Snap-in option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Under the "Available snap-ins" section, select the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.
  2. Click the Add button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Browse button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Users tab.
  2. Select the user or group you want to apply a specific set of configurations.Quick tip: If you're trying to change settings for users with a Standard user account, then select Non-Administrators from the list.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Click the Finish button.
  3. Click the OK button.
  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save As option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm a name for the snap-in.
  2. Select a location to store the console.
  3. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, you can use the new console to set custom policies that will only apply to that specific user or group of users.

For instance, if you share the device with other users, you can disable access to the Settings app and Control Panel to prevent users from making system changes, or you can customize the experience by enabling and disable certain features without affecting your account.

We're focusing this guide on Windows 10, but since the Local Group Policy Editor has been around for a long time, the same instructions will also apply for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.