How to Refresh Windows Computer Policies

Periodically as part of troubleshooting an issue, IT may ask you to refresh the group policies on your Windows computer. This article describes how to do that.

 Windows 7

Step 1) Launch a Command Line Window

Searching for, and launching, a command line window.

Click on the Start Menu button, type "cmd" (without the quotes) into the search bar at the very bottom of the Start Menu, and then click on the cmd.exe icon that should appear at the top of the results list.

Windows 10

Right click on the Start Menu Button and another menu appears. Click on either Command prompt or command prompt (Admin) to open the CMD window.


Step 2) Run gpupdate /force

Running gpupdate /force within the command line window.

Within the Command Line window, type gpupdate /force and then press Enter on your keyboard. The line "Updating Policy..." should appear in the Command Line window below where you just typed.


Step 3) Restart Your Computer

Gpupdate is finished. Restart your computer.

When the update has finished, you should be presented with a prompt to either logoff or restart your computer. Press N to reject those prompts and then manually restart your computer. It's best to completely restart the computer, and it is slightly faster to reboot manually than to reboot through the Command Line window.

Sometimes you will not be presented with a prompt to restart or logoff after the update. However, you should still restart your computer unless otherwise instructed by IT.