Power Plan (Windows Vista® and later) preference items configure sleep and display options for managing power consumption for Windows Server® 2008 R2, Windows® 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista.

You configure Power Plan items just as you would configure advanced power settings in Power Options in Control Panel.

Creating a Power Plan (Windows Vista and later) item

To create a new Power Plan preference item
  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console. Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit.

  2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration or User Configuration, expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Control Panel Settings folder.

  3. Right-click the Power Options node, point to New, and select Power Plan (Windows Vista and later).

  4. In the New Power Plan (Windows Vista and later) Properties dialog box, enter power options settings for Group Policy to configure. (For more information, see Enable and Disable Settings in a Preference Item.)

  5. Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

  6. Click OK. The new preference item appears in the details pane.


This type of preference item provides a choice of four actions: Create, Replace, Update, and Delete. The behavior of the preference item varies with the action selected and whether the power plan already exists.


Create a newly configured power plan. If a power plan with the same name as the Power Plan item exists, then the existing power plan is not changed.


Remove a power plan with the same name as the Power Plan preference item. The extension performs no action if the power plan does not exist. Built-in power plans cannot be deleted.


Delete and re-create the named power plan. The net result of the Replace action overwrites all existing settings associated with the power plan. If the power plan does not exist, then the Replace action creates a newly configured power plan. Built-in power plans cannot be replaced.


Modify a power plan. The action differs from Replace because it updates the settings that are defined within the preference item. All other settings remain as they were previously configured. If the power plan does not exist, then the Update action creates a new power plan.

Additional considerations

  • If a user Power Plan item processes after a computer Power Plan item, user settings replace the active settings, which may have been made active previously by a computer or user Power Plan item.

  • The local administrator and Power Users administrative group can manually change their power settings by using Control Panel; other users cannot. Regardless, the settings configured for users become active when they log on and remain so even after they log off.

  • Settings that are applied to the computer become active when the computer is started without a logged-on user. However, Power Plan preference items, which support Group Policy background updates, can reset power settings when computer policy is applied without a logged-on user.

  • You can use item-level targeting to change the scope of preference items.

  • Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

Additional references