Selecting computer or user settings

Group Policy Objects consist of two types of group policy settings:

  • Computer Configuration policies define the startup and shut down operations and other computer-specific behavior. These configuration settings apply to the computers regardless of the user account that logs on to the computer.
  • User Configuration policies define log-on and log-off operations and other user-specific behavior. These configuration settings apply to the user account regardless of the computer the user logs on to. With these settings, users can move from computer to computer with a consistent profile.

Because the computer and user group policies contain different configuration settings, they don’t affect each other directly. In planning how to implement group policies, however, you need to keep in mind which policies must be computer-based and which must be user‑based. In many cases, the same group policy might be available as both a computer configuration policy and a user configuration policy. In those cases, you need to decide whether the policy is best applied to computers and all users who log on or to individual users when logging on, regardless of the computers they use.