The Power Scheme preference item configures settings in a Windows Server® 2003 or Windows® XP power scheme—a group of power management settings combined under a name. Power schemes control how Windows manages hardware power consumption following a period of inactivity. Before you create a Power Scheme, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with the extension. You configure power scheme items just as you would in Power Options in Control Panel.


Use Power Option preference items to configure how Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP respond to power events.

Creating a Windows XP Power Scheme item

To create a new Power Scheme preference item for Windows XP
  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 Scheme (Windows XP).

  4. In the New Power Scheme Properties dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

  5. Enter power scheme settings for Group Policy to configure. (For more information, see Enable and Disable Settings in a Preference Item.)

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

  7. 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 scheme already exists.


Create a newly configured Power Scheme. If a power scheme with the same name as the Power Scheme item exists, then the existing Power Scheme is not modified.


Remove a Power Scheme with the same name as the Power Scheme preference item. The extension performs no action if the Power Scheme does not exist.


Delete and recreate the named power scheme. The net result of the Replace action overwrites all existing settings associated with the power scheme. If the power scheme does not exist, then the Replace action creates a newly configured power scheme.


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

Additional considerations

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

  • The local administrator and Power Users administrative group can manually change their power scheme settings using the 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 applied to the computer become active when the computer is started without a logged-on user. However, Power Scheme preference items, which support Group Policy background refreshes, can reset power scheme settings when computer policy is applied without a logged-on user.

  • Power scheme settings control which values are contained within the specified power scheme. When creating new power schemes, disabled values are pulled from the default power scheme for the computer or user. The New Power Scheme properties dialog box selects the standard settings for any power scheme selected in the Power Schemes list.

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

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

Additional references