How can I link GPOs?

How can I link GPOs?
When we refer to the process of linking GPOs, we are talking about the concept that GPOs don't "live" at the level that they appear to manipulate. Specifically, just because you have a GPO which affects an OU or a site, doesn't mean the GPO "lives" at that level. Indeed, the GPO "lives" at the domain level, in what I playfully call the "Group Policy Swimming Pool" of the domain. So, when you want to leverage a GPO which lives at the domain level, you need to link it to the level you want to affect.

Ok, enough back story. How do you actually perform the link? It depends on the tool you are using.

* If you're using the "old-school" interface that comes in the box with Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, then, once you right-click over the level (ie: Site, domain, or OU) and select Properties, and click the Group Policy tab, you then simply select the "Add" button.

* If you're using the new-school GPMC (Group Policy Management Console) you right-click over the level (ie: Site, domain, or OU) and select "Link an Existing GPO".

Then in both cases, just select the existing GPO, which lives in the "Group Policy Swimming Pool" of the domain.

This was first published in January 2004

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