Monday, June 11, 2012

Compare the Difference between two Group Policy Objects

There’s no built-in functionality in Windows for comparing two GPOs to see how their settings differ.  Back in 2005 a company named DesktopStandard Corp made a tool called GPOVault which extended the functionality of GPMC providing administrators the ability to compare two group policy objects.

DesktopStandard Corp however was brought out by Microsoft and navigating to their website simply redirects to the Microsoft Group Policy webpage.
GPOVault does not only provide the ability to compare group policy objects within Group Policy Management Console but also provides other much needed functionality such as change control, notification, approval, rollback, offline editing, templates, and difference reporting directly into the GPMC.

Since the acquisition of DesktopStandard Corp, finding GPOVault on the Internet has become a difficult task.  As a result I have uploaded a copy of GPOVault.msi to this blog which can be downloaded from the following link:

To compare two group policy objects perform the following steps:

1. Expand the Forest - Domains and the domain and select the "Change Control" leaf.

2. In the details pane, select the Contents tab, which will display a list of GPOs. At this point, you probably need to select the "Uncontrolled" child tab to see your normal GPOs.

3. Select the GPOs for which you want to see the differences (hold down the Ctrl key as you select each GPO), then right-click and select Differences - HTML Report. (You can also select to output to XML format as the figure shows.)

4. A report will display the differences between the selected GPOs, as the figureshows.


  1. AGPM (from microsoft) does just that and more

  2. Thanks for that, after looking into AGPM this appears to be the new version of GPOVault.

  3. except agpm is another m$$$$$ grab.