or How-to forcefully RE-APPLY GPPs (and "do not reapply").

Someday I was playing with Group Policy Preferences (GPPs) and I noticed that my policy didn’t literally apply more than once (ie. after updating one of the policy preferences with the "new settings", that is)!

To reproduce the issue, I followed these steps:

1. Created a new GPP with gpmc.msc and (most importantly), selected “Apply once and do not reapply” in Item Level targeting.
(Let's say you created a folder named C:\New-Folder-Name on your target computer).

2. I then ran “gpupdate /force” from within my target computer.

3. Verified the changes –> Changes successfully applied (C:\New-Folder-Name popped up as expected - all good ‘till here!).



“Apply once and do not reapply” not working-ISSUE.

What if, say, you changed your mind and wanted to update your “Apply once and do not reapply”-preferences with some extra changes (such as renaming the folder to something else).


  • Open GPP with gpmc.msc.
  • Change/Update the above preference with your new changes.
    (Let's say you wanted to rename the folder to your target computer, From C:\New-Folder-Name To C:\Renamed-Folder-Name).

After forcing a Group Policy update (ie. “gpupdate /force” and/or by simply restarting the destination computer), curiously enough, the above policy updates wouldn't even show up (ie. new changes totally ignored!).



Techies description.

While I experienced the issue, I didn’t even bother to fix it (or get on a long, stressful & perhaps fruitless research).

Today ‘though, I casually ended up reading the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2284538, which precisely described the issue I experienced before:


Briefly, when you select any of your GPP settings to “Apply once and do not reapply”, the Specific Preference’s UID (ie. “Create Folder at C:\New-Folder-Name”) ends up into your registry, at the following location:

  • (Computer GPP): HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Group Policy\Client\RunOnce
  • (User GPP): HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Group Policy\Client\RunOnce

When you update the GPP with your new or updated settings (ie. when you change anything into your pre-existing preference already configured as “apply once and do not reapply”), the preference’s UID is compared to the UID recorded into your Registry (at the locations specified by the two bullet points above).

  • IF the Preference’s UID checks positive vs the same UID on your Registry then your setting won’t be updated.
  • IF the Preference’s UID do not exist on your Registry then your Settings will be “applied once and not reapplied”.

With the above knowledge, I will now show you how to force the re-application of your changes.



Plumbers’ FIX.

To Manually fix the Apply once and do not reapply issue:


  • Locate your Policy’s GUID (on gpmc.msc).



  • Right Click on the <ITEM.XML>-File and Open it with a Text Editor (ie. Notepad).
    (In my example I Opened “Folder.xml”).

Now Open “regedit” and browse to the Registry locations shown in the below screenshot.


  • MATCH the ITEM ID (From the XML-File) with the ID listed on your Target Computer’s Registry.
    In the example above, you will notice that id="{17D135B2-6758-45DB-A715-4A8126AD54A0} appears both on the XML File and on the Computer’s Registry.
  • Now Delete the Registry Value that applies to you.
    (I deleted id="{17D135B2-6758-45DB-A715-4A8126AD54A0}).
  • Finally Run “gpupdate /force” (or Restart your computer).

Now your “Apply once and do not reapply”-Policy will magically get re-applied!

To stick to my example above, the renamed Folder was created!


Collateral Damage”-FIX.

  • IF you reckon it's safe to skip all the hassle documented above, then you might simply clean-up (ie. Delete) *ALL* the (above) Registry Values (on your Target Computer) and all your “Apply once and do not reapply”-Settings will be forcefully reapplied again at once!


Clever Microsoft features.

[SOLVED]GPP “Apply once and do not reapply” not working.
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Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home. Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family. In this Ad-sponsored space, Andrea shares his quest for "ultimate" IT knowledge, meticulously brought to you in an easy to read format.

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