Device preference items allow you to enable or disable classes of or types of hardware devices. Device classes allow you to enable or disable a broader ranger of device types. Device types allow you to enable or disable a specific type of hardware device. For example, disabling the device class DVD/CD-ROM drives disables all hardware devices within the selected class. Disabling the device type MS CD/DVD-ROM ATA Device only disables hardware devices of that type, not the entire class. Before you create a Device preference item, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with this extension.


Make certain to test Device preference items before deploying them to a production environment. Disabling devices has the potential to render Windows inoperable.

Creating a Device item

To create a new Device 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 Devices node, point to New, and select Device.

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

  5. Enter device settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "Device settings" in this topic.)

  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.


Use this device (enable)

Enable a matching device class or device type.

Do not use this device (disable)

Disable a matching device class or device type.

Device settings

Device class

This setting contains the name of the enabled or disabled device class. DVD/CD-ROM drives is an example of a device class. Click Browse (…) to choose from a list of the device classes available on your computer.

Device type

This setting contains the name of the enabled or disabled device type. MS CD/DVD-ROM ATA Device is an example of a device type. To select a Device type, click Browse (…) next to the Device class box. Expand a device class to show the list of device types available on your computer.

Additional considerations

  • Device preference items applied to computers affect all users of the targeted computer. Apply preference items to users if you want controls which users have device class or types enabled or disabled.

  • Some devices appearing in Device Manager cannot be disabled.

  • Disabling a device takes effect immediately. However, there may be some delays with Device Manager showing the device class or item as disabled. Check the properties of the device for the current status.

  • The Remove this item when it is no longer applied is available only when the item action is set to Do not use this device (disabled). Removing the preference item enables the device.

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

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

Additional references