Windows Server

How to create the central store for Group Policy Administrative Templates

The Central Store is a file location that is checked by the Group Policy tools and it is a folder structure created in the “Sysvol” directory on the domain controllers in each domain in your organization. You will need to create the central store only once on a single domain controller for each domain in your organization. The File Replication service then replicates the central store to all domain controllers. It is recommended that you create the central store on the primary domain controller because the Group Policy Management Console and Group Policy Object Editor connect to the primary domain controller by default.

The central store consists of a root-level folder containing all language-neutral ADMX files and subfolders containing the language-specific ADMX resource files. For more information about the difference between an ADM and ADMX file, see What are the differences between an ADM and ADMX file.

Note: To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Administrators group in Active Directory.

Microsoft releases a new operating system and if you are in a domain environment you should be interested in managing your new (and old) computer via Group Policies. To manage your computer you need either the target operating system version (or later) with RSAT (Remote Server Administrative Tools) or an equivalent server operating system to be able to see and configure all features. You also need updated Group Policy settings files, Group Policy Administrative Templates, or simply updated ADMX files for the new operating system.

To create a central store follow the steps below:
– Download the Administrative Templates (.admx) MSI file for Windows Server 2019 and download it to your server.
– Click the download button

Note: This Administrative Templates (.admx) applies Windows 10, Windows Server 2019. This .msi file contains the .admx files we need to populate the policy settings in the user interface.
– Run the saved admx.msi file

– Accept the License Agreement and click on Next

On the custom setup, I will click on Net to continue

Now, it is time to hit the Install button. Click on install to have the Administrative Templates (.admx) MSI file installed

Click on finish to complete the Administrative Templates (.admx) MSI file installation

Note: By default, this is installed in the path below.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 November 2019 Update (1909)

To create a Central Store for .admx and .adml files, using Windows File Explorer 
– Create a folder that is named PolicyDefinitions in the following location on the domain controller as shown below.


Note: If you already have the PolicyDefinition Folder
– Before copying any new ADMX and ADML files, backup the files that are present in the PolicyDefinitions folder.
– For me, I will create a new folder called Policy Definition as shown below
– As you can see also, it was not available before.

By default, this is installed in the path below

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Version 1511\PolicyDefinitions

Ensure to copy the PolicyDefinition from the path above to the new location within SYSVOL on the Domain Controller that you’ve just created. \\TECHDARCHIVE\sysvol\techdirect.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions.

Ensure to replace the server name and the domain name with your own server and domain name ;). If you are having issues, please use this path “C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\techdirect.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

Note: You can remove any language folders that you do not want to support, so if you are using only English, I will leave it this way so any other administrator can manage the GPO in whatever language you desire.

Now, you can now manage your ADMX files. as shown below. Launch Group Policy Management Console. This will open the Group Policy Editor as shown below

– Right-click on any of the Group Policy Object as shown below,
– Click on Edit

This will open the Group Policy Management Editor as shown below

If you encounter the following “Error: Administrative templates retrieved from the local computer does not show up“, please use the steps discussed in this hyperlink to resolve it. Microsoft reference link.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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David Webster
David Webster
1 year ago

Great article. Best I have seen on this.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Webster
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