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Are group policies cumulative?

Are group policies cumulative? - If a GP is assigned to the domain and then a separate GP is assigned to an OU, do features of the domain GP filter down to the OU and apply with features set in the OU GP as long as they don't conflict? I thought that if a GP was assigned to an OU its features would overwrite any features set by a GP assigned to a level above.

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If you have no GPOs that "conflict" anywhere in your SOM (scope of management), they will apply cumulatively. However, if you have a GPO which says to do one specific thing at, say, the Domain level and another GPO which ways to do a specific thing at, say the OU level, the one "closer" to the user (or computer) will apply. So, here's a simple example: At the domain level, imagine that you restrict the control panel, but at the OU level, you make it available. Since the GPO linked to the OU is "closer" to the target account, that "affect" will take effect.

This was first published in April 2004

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