Managing Office 2016 using Group Policies

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Adding administrative templates to support your Office 2016 is critical for administrators that want to manage certain components from a central location.

Solution


The process is simple, the first step is to download the latest Administrative Template for your version of Office (Microsoft make them available virtually for all versions and products). In our case, this the link to download them: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49030

We will assume that you are using a Central Store in your Active Directory which basically means that all Administrative Templates are in your SYSVOL instead of each one of your Domain Controllers.

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The installation process is simple, just run the file that was downloaded and accept the license agreement (although I couldn’t understand the third and second paragraph Smile) .

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Select a folder to store the content that will be extracted, in our case we will create a folder Office2016-ADMX.

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The first step is to copy all or some files related to the software that you want to control using Group Policies. In my current customer, there is no need for Visio, OneNone and Project, so I’m going to select just the ones that are installed on the workstations.  Click on the desired files and click Copy.

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At this point, if you aren’t already, it is better to log on the Domain Controller. The next step is to paste those copied files into the PolicyDefinitions folder on your Domain Controller, the local path is C:\Windows\SYSVOL\Sysvol\domain.local\policies\PolicyDefinitions.

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We need to repeat the same process for the adml (language specific) files that support the admx files that we copied in the previous step. The adml files are separate by language, in my case English is the only language, so we are going to en-us and copy the same file names that we copied before but now with the adml extension. After that we need to paste on the same en-us folder inside of the PolicyDefinitions folder.

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Close any Group Policy that is being edited and Group Policy Management Console. After that open it again and we will be able to see Microsoft Office products being listed under Administrative Templates.

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Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, and Office Server and Services, besides the Microsoft Award he also holds a Solutions Master (MCSM) in Exchange and several other certifications. Anderson has been contributing to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, twitter, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor here at ITPROCentral.com, MSExchange.org, Techgenix.com and Anderson Patricio.org (Portuguese).

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