Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 825685 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 3.0


You may experience the following issues when you try to apply a Microsoft Internet Explorer or a Windows Internet Explorer Maintenance policy to a client computer:
  • The policy is only applied one time.
  • The policy is not reapplied when you log on, even if you have enabled the "Process even if the Group Policy objects have not changed" setting.
  • The policy does not respond to the GPUPDATE /FORCE command.


The Internet Explorer Maintenance policy is probably running in preference mode. Preference mode is designed to provide initial settings to a user without enforcing them.


If you want to enforce a specific configuration on a client, do not use preference mode.


This behavior is by design.


The Internet Explorer Maintenance preference mode is designed to provide initial settings for a user without enforcing these settings. For example, the user may set the corporate intranet portal page as the home page. If no other restrictions apply, the user may modify these settings. When an Internet Explorer Maintenance policy is in preference mode, the policy will only be applied to a client computer again when the policy has changed. At that time, the new preferences will be introduced on the client computer.

For more information about the preference mode and other issues that could cause the symptoms that are described in this article, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
325342  ( ) How to use Group Policy to configure advanced settings for Internet Explorer in Windows Server 2003
306915  ( ) Internet Explorer Maintenance Group Policies do not apply during subsequent logons procedures

For related information about managing common desktop management scenarios using the Group Policy Management Console, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Implementing common desktop management scenarios with the Group Policy Management Console (

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP
  • Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003
kbgrppolicyprob kbwhitepaper kbtshoot kbprb KB825685
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support