Group Policy Preferences, introduced in Windows Server® 2008, provide more than twenty Group Policy extensions that expand the range of configurable preference settings in a Group Policy object (GPO). Group Policy lets you manage drive mappings, registry settings, local users and groups, services, files, and folders without the need to learn a scripting language.

Preferences let you manage all these additional settings by using the familiar Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Within most preference items, the user interface mimics the relevant end-user interface for configuring these settings. This makes configuration more intuitive.

Within each GPO, you can create multiple preference items with each preference extension. Targeting options give you with more precise control over how Windows applies preference settings. By using item-level targeting, you can configure each GPO to be appropriate to more users and computers.

The GPMC lets you configure preferences when you edit any domain-based GPO. The Preferences node appears under Computer Configuration and User Configuration.